The real estate market is fickle, but the overall tendency in large cities is for prices to keep moving upwards because demand is high. While prices for apartments, houses, condos and other assorted living spaces remain steep, they pale in comparison to what some people have paid to get their very own car place in the building where they also have an apartment.
At number one is a purchase made in October 2019 in Hong Kong. The location is hardly surprising: the city is the world’s most expensive housing market for 8 years in a row. Everything here is expensive, including the slab of concrete on which you can legally and safely park your car. The crown goes to a 134.5-square-foot parking spot situated in a 73-story office building, previously owned by logistics tycoon Johnny Cheung.
Cheung decided to sell the spot when one of the businessmen with an office in the building started pressing him for it. The transaction was closed at $969,000, which equals over $7,200 per square foot for a piece of empty space, 3 times more than the median square foot price for homes in Hong Kong. How’s that for getting a very sweet deal?
The second on our list is, again, a parking spot from Hong Kong, which switched hands in June 2018 and proudly held the title for the world’s most expensive for a little over a year. It was bought by a couple who acquired it for $430,000 and sold it at a profit 9 months later.
The number 3 outrageously expensive parking spot is in Boston, in the Back Bay neighborhood, aka the most parking-unfriendly area of the city. In June 2013, two tandem lots here sold at an auction for $560,000 after bidding began at $42,000.
The IRS had seized the parking spots from their previous owner, who had amassed debts of over $600,000. They didn’t imagine they would fetch such a high sum, but they were happy for it. “God bless America,” one real estate agent said after the tense auction, which saw only two bidders compete until the very end. “The demand is not about value. It’s about wanting the parking spot at whatever cost,” another real estate agent added.
New York’s Manhattan district is also very pricey when it comes to this type of real estate, and two not-so-recent offers for private parking spots show that. In 2014, a 10-unit luxury condo was being built in SoHo and it came with several underground slots of about 200 square feet each, priced at $1 million each.
Another very expensive parking spot is actually a garage at 66 East 11th Street in Manhattan, under a building that was receiving the condo conversion. The asking price for it was $1 million in 2012, the equivalent of paying a ticket of $115 for illegal parking for the next 24 years, without missing a single day.
It did not have a charging station, but it was taller than your average parking spot/garage, which meant it could be easily converted into a duplex parking space, housing 2 cars at once if the owner installed a lift inside. Measuring 12 feet wide, 23 feet long and over 15 feet high, the parking spot would come with monthly maintenance fees.
“It’s for someone who wants complete privacy,” the developers said at the time. “You can drive in and not be seen again. It’s for the type of person who finds that attractive. It could be a celebrity or a business person who is camera shy.”
They also said that the shower water in the residential building would be infused with vitamin C and aloe vera, and that each apartment would have heat reflexology flooring. In case you thought shelling out $1 million for a parking spot was the silliest thing ever.
“The reality of New York City is that people are willing to pay more for a parking spot than the average person in the country pays for a home,” a real estate agent explained at the time. Amen, brother.