Parking? How Much Value Does It Bring?

Is parking on your must have list in San Francisco?

The vast majority of San Francisco home sales include at least one on-site parking space in the sale, and 80% - 90% of buyers put parking on their must-have list when searching for a new home. That doesn’t mean that a home without parking cannot sell at a good price, but it does mean that on average it will take somewhat longer to sell, as well as selling at a lesser price than a comparable home with parking. As always, correct pricing is critically important, as well as all the other issues pertinent to finding the right buyer for any particular property, such as preparation and marketing.

It’s difficult to calculate the exact value differential between homes with and without interior, on-site parking, because the data set of no-parking sales is relatively small and scattered in many different micro-markets in the city. Also, for houses in particular, properties without parking are almost always late 1800’s Victorians, which skews the analysis. Condos are little more complicated, because condos without parking range from Victorian and Edwardian flats (usually lower level units of buildings that have less than a 1 to 1 ratio of parking spaces to units); to modern pied-à-terres near urban cultural districts, perhaps with valet parking services available; to brand new condo projects specifically targeted at younger, non-car-drivers. But ball-parking the difference in value between two comparable homes with and without parking, we would estimate the difference to be in the 10% - 12% range; an experienced San Francisco appraiser we consulted also estimated in the 10% range.

But in real estate, the devil is always in the details. If there is long-term leased parking or a public parking garage available very close by, or if street parking is particularly easy in the neighborhood, that would typically lessen the price disparity. Interior, garage parking is worth more than an outside pad. For condos and TICs, side-by-side is more valuable than tandem parking, and for condos, deeded is worth more than leased parking. (Many new buildings lease out there on-site parking spaces instead of deeding them to the condo itself.) A larger space is preferable to a smaller - every year, a few buyers are very unhappy to find out that their SUVs are too tall for the angled driveways and garage openings of older houses or too large to maneuver into their assigned parking spaces in a condo building. (As part of your due diligence, always insist on parking your car in the property during the inspection period.) Or the listing agent mistakenly points to the wrong parking space in the garage: always compare what the CC&Rs or TIC Agreement documents say and what the parking "map" delineates to the space pointed out.

All things being equal, having more than 1 parking space would of course increase property value, but not to the degree of that first space.

All data is from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and is subject to revision. Copyright 2013 Paragon Real Estate Group

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