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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Business
Developers use parking space to dodge home price caps
    2017-August-31  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

THE cost of car parking spaces in new apartment projects in some cities is soaring as developers roll out their latest secret weapon to counter home price caps imposed by municipal authorities.

As if contending with sky-high homes prices wasn’t enough, some buyers are now forced to fork out as much as 1 million yuan (US$151, 821) for car parking spaces in major second-tier cities, such as Tianjin, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Suzhou. They are sold with an apartment worth as little as 2.4 million yuan, in bundled deals that make it compulsory for residents to purchase the parking space.

“There’s a price cap on apartments, but not on parking spaces, so we’re bundle-selling them with apartments to compensate,” said a Shanghai-based developer who declined to be identified.

“Recently we sold parking spaces in Xiamen for more than 1 million yuan each. Last year one only cost less than 200,000,” he said, referring to spaces in the port city in Fujian Province in southeastern China.

To fend off speculators and defuse a housing bubble, major cities across China have slapped a series of restrictions on property markets, including imposing limits on developers’ selling prices.

That’s prompted property companies to find ways to ride out the tightening measures or skirt them, including delaying the launch of new home sales in the hope that when authorities relax some rules, buyers will jump back into the market and they can release more supply at higher prices.

Top-tier cities such as Shanghai and Beijing have seen a surge in car park prices in the past three to five years, with some asking prices more than 1 million yuan, mostly due to a massive shortage. But second-tier cities are catching up in the past year, and this time driven by bundle-selling, property agents said.

As China’s car park marketplace is not active and transparent, it is unclear exactly how much average prices have gained in different cities in the past few years.

“In almost every city with a price cap policy in place, if they allow developers to bundle-sell car park spaces, it is happening,” said Clement Luk, CEO of realtor Centaline’s eastern China division. “In the past, in cities like Nanjing and Suzhou, many car park spaces were below 100,000 yuan, but now many cost over 300,000. Is this a natural price appreciation? Definitely not.”

He said the bundling had been adopted to skirt price cap policies and manipulate selling prices.

Shimao Property, a higher-end developer based in Shanghai, said at an earnings conference Tuesday that when it is seeking a pre-sales permit for a development it does ask the authorities concerned if it can raise some prices for renovation costs and car parking spaces, said vice president Jason Hui. He noted it was much easier to get permission to do this in tier-two cities than in the biggest ones.

(SD-Agencies)

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