Posts tagged with "Costs"

Watch this space: In Hong Kong, a parking space just sold for $765K

July 9, 2018

Talk about “space travel.” Parking spaces now are so expensive in Hong Kong, that one car collector is thinking of storing his vehicles in Los Angeles, where annual spaces average less than one-tenth of the price.

“It’s crazy,” Darrin Woo, a classic car collector, told Bloomberg recently.  Although he is wealthy, Woo just shipped his 1968 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman limo and a fiery red 1957 Fiat Abarth to California to save money on storage.

“Buy a space? No way. I could buy five cars for that much.”

Indeed, there are more cars than spaces in the confines of Hong Kong’s crowded 424square-mile territory—and those who can afford to buy one might pay more than the rest of us would consider shelling out for a house. A single spot in a luxury development in Kowloon’s Ho Man Tin district changed hands recently for a record US$765,000, according to a July 5 report by the business news outlet.

The number of parking spaces increased just 9.5%, to 743,000, within the decade between 2006 and 2016; while the private car population surged 49% to 536,025, according to a report by the city’s Transport Department.

Today, the average Hong Kong parking space goes for about US$287,000—a more than sixfold increase since 2006. That makes the city’s housing market, the world’s least affordable, look tame by comparison. Home prices increased a mere 3.4 times over the same period. In the first half of this year, some US$1.3billion worth of spaces changed hands—up from US$838 milion in the same period a year earlier, according to Midland Realty Services, a Hong Kong-based real estate broker.

Car owners in New York and London face similar problems. In Manhattan, spaces at a luxury condo at 42 Crosby St. in Soho were advertised for US$1 million, according to The New York Times. A real estate agent who handles sales for the property declined to comment. However, prices are lower elsewhere in the city—pegged at an average of US$225,000.

In London, you can buy a space for about $130,000—or could in 2011, according to the Daily Mail.

Based on the Bloomberg report, Hong Kong developers are partly to blame. They make more money building apartments than garages, so the ratio of parking spots to housing units has declined, said Denis Ma, head of Hong Kong Research at consulting firm Jones Lang LaSalle.

Research contact: @Frederikbalfour

Veterinarians say they are menaced by pet owners angry about costs

November 6, 2017

Nearly 90% of veterinarians in the United Kingdom frequently face intimidation and threats of violence from their clients—even after they have saved a family’s treasured pet, according to results of a survey by the British Veterinary Association published in The Telegraph

Indeed, pet owners are increasingly likely to pressure their vets to waive their fees, becoming angry and aggressive over the continually rising cost of care, the report has found.

Shockingly enough, fully 85% of vets said that they or a member of their team had felt threatened by a client’s language or behavior—which has included, the professionals say, swearing, shouting, and threats to damage property or defame the practice on social media. Some even go as far as to make death threats.

While around half of vets have felt personally intimidated, support staff such as receptionists often bear the brunt of pet owners’ verbal and physical outrage.

Robin Hargreaves, 55 years old and a vet with 30 years’ experience in northwestern England, told researchers, “I’m afraid it’s almost a daily occurrence. It’s usually over money. People will tell you that if we really loved animals we should treat theirs for free. What they forget is that they aren’t the only ones asking that.”

Hargreaves added, “We’ve had people threatening to smash all our windows, and that can be very frightening to the young people who work for me. It’s often at night, with the out-of-hours service. My staff have been left very upset by the abuse, but they don’t feel they can just abandon the patient, who is the animal, not the owner. I’m afraid it’s pushing people out of the profession.”

The survey of more than 1,600 practicing veterinarians found that vets who specialize in household pets, such as cats and dogs, rather than farm animals, are more likely to experience threatening behavior.

In addition, about 89% of vets working with companion animals reported some form of intimidating behavior. Women and younger vets were significantly more likely to have felt threatened, the survey showed.

The veterinarians are the first to admit that their fees have risen significantly over recent years, going up about 12% each year. They attribute the rising costs to the growing sophistication and choice of treatments available for animals, in line with new developments in health care for humans.

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