Demand for car parking spaces in Tsuen Wan has shot up significantly in recent months following the completion of new residential estates in the district.
Amid a spike in rentals at private parking lots, people are scrambling for available spaces at government-owned facilities, Apple Daily reported.
Last Saturday, more than 500 people lined up to rent monthly parking spaces at a multi-storey public car park near the Tsuen Wan MTR station, the report said.
The government public car park, which offers monthly spaces at just HK$1,800, has become the new favorite of car owners as rents at private parking lots in the district have skyrocketed to between HK$3,700 and HK$4,500 per unit, it said.
The rents at private car parks are 30 percent higher compared to last year.
The government multi-storey car park, meanwhile, boasts 547 parking spaces, with 400 of them allocated for monthly rentals.
The monthly tickets have to be renewed on the 23rd day each month, with the renewals granted on a first-come-first-served basis.
Given this situation, scores of people queued up very early on Saturday, with many even camping overnight, to grab the monthly tickets, the report said.
About 200 people had lined up by 5 am on May 23, despite an amber rainstorm warning. Sale of the monthly tickets starts at 7:30 am.
Some domestic helpers were quoted as saying that it had been a regular practice for them to stand in for their masters in the queue.
By 10 am that day, all 400 monthly tickets for June were said to have been sold out.
Over half of the people in the queue were seniors, followed by domestic helpers.
A lady surnamed Wong revealed that she was queuing up for a space for her son. She said she got in at 11 pm the night before to make it into the first ten of the queue.
Wong said she had come in earlier than usual because of the increased competition.
Wong Pui-chi, community officer for the Luk Yeung Sun Chuen residential estate, said parking spaces at the housing complex have been all snapped up for years.
Some residents have been put on long waiting lists, she said.
Demand-supply situation has worsened in the district as several open space car parks have been closed by the government due facilitate the construction of new flats near the Tsuen Wan West Rail station, Wong said.
According to data from the Planning Department, there are 307,800 residents in the Tsuen Wan district as of now.
As 5,000 new flats are expected to be made available in the district in the next few years, it is estimated that up to 20,000 more people will move in to the district.
That could make the car park crisis much more worse.
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