New York, New York, it’s a hell of a town… America’s largest city might be an exciting place to live or visit, but it’s hardly cheap – especially when it comes to both real estate and car ownership.
The city has long had a reputation for insane property prices and terrible landlords (such as a little-known businessman called Donald J. Trump), but also for being a very difficult place to drive in: traffic sucks, and finding somewhere to park your car is a Herculean, expensive exercise.
With that in mind, you can understand the allure of owning your own private parking spot in the middle of The Big Apple – but what’s a bit harder to understand is the truly insane prices some parking spots are going for.
For example, a firm called Centerpark is selling 23 parking spaces in a garage on Manhattan’s exclusive Upper East Side for a whopping US$350,000 (~AU$484,860) a pop. Other private parking spaces in Manhattan are going for half a million or even more. That’d buy you a whole house in New Jersey or Queens…
Private parking spots going for big money in New York is nothing that new, but prices have become even more heated since the COVID-19 pandemic. New Yorkers, like many city dwellers across America and the world, are increasingly ditching public transport for cars over fears of infection.
“So many people have said [they’re] not going to get on the subway again for a very, very long time,” Kirsten Jordan, the broker who’s marketing Centerpark’s spots, shared with Bloomberg.
“There are others saying, ‘I’m paying $60 to get from the Upper East Side to Tribeca [a roughly 11km or 30min drive] because Ubers are so expensive. It might make sense to buy a spot’.”
New York isn’t the only city where this is happening – it’s happening in Sydney, too. A parking spot close to the CBD in bohemian Potts Point – the most densely populated suburb in Australia – sold for an eye-watering AU$225,000 mid last year, news.com.au reports.
Of course, the other price pressure has been on car prices themselves. Unprecedented demand for cars combined with a lack of new car stock thanks to a global computer chip shortage (another casualty of COVID) means that prices for second-hand cars have skyrocketed, particularly Down Under. More on that here.