New York City Parking Spots Are Fetching Some Seriously Eye-Watering Prices

Hey, I'm parkin' here!

The US$350,000 per spot garage on the Upper East Side. Image: Centerpark

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…

Traffic in Manhattan. Image: Hale School

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’.”

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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.

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