The rising cost of parking: Central Auckland car park sold for $165,000

If you fancy having your very own parking space in Auckland CBD you’ll need $100,000 as the price of car parks in the city continues to climb.

By the end of November, 17 freehold central Auckland residential car parks had sold with a median price of $95,000 – up from $90,000 in 2018, according to data provided by Valocity.

A parking space under the Quay West apartment block on Albert St earned the title as the year’s most expensive and the second most expensive in New Zealand when it sold for $165,000 in August.

Another park in the same building was close behind at $151,000.

But neither top the 2017 sale of a spot in the Quay Regency apartment building on Quay St, which went for $265,000.

Ray White realtor Damian Piggin was involved in the sale of all three car parks and says supply and demand is behind the increase in prices although the location pushed up the price of the top three sales.

“Quay West is probably one of the best freehold place you can buy a carpark on a separate title. The bottom of Albert St is within walking distance of Commercial Bay and the ferries and everything else,” he said.

“The Quay Regency park was next to 2 Queen St, which is probably one of the most sought-after buildings in the city. It’s in a part of town where there’s literally no carparking. That’s what ended up driving that one. No one expected that.”

Piggin said central city carparks in good locations were “pretty tightly held” and when they did go up for sale there was always plenty of interest.

“You’ve got to have someone willing to sell one and it’s becoming a rarity these days because people know how rare they are.”

He said eight bidders were gunning for the Quay West carpark but the winners were a family who owned a penthouse apartment in the complex and needed an extra carpark because they had a grandparent living with them.

The explosion of residences in the city, many without carparks, had increased demand for the few spaces for sale, as had the many commuters coming from Waiheke, he said.

Valocity head of customer experience James Wilson agreed scarcity was driving prices up and believed the price would continue to rise as more apartments and townhouses went up in the city.

“I think we are going to see more of a focus on where these apartment and townhouse occupants can park,” he said. “I think in New Zealand still we are not able to live as a car-free nation.”

Adding a car park to the purchase of an apartment added $100,000-150,000, he said.

Wilson said people who did buy car parks that could be sold separate to a residence usually held on to it for a long time so when they came to market they sold quickly and for a “pretty high price”.

As for investment potential, Wilson said capital growth wasn’t a given. However, they offereda stable cash flow with very low overheads.

Only two residential car parks sold outside of Auckland during the year – one on Maunganui Rd in Mt Maunganui which sold for $50,000 and one in Omokoroa, which went for $10,250.

In 2018 and 2019, 53 car parks sold in Auckland and 30 sold outside of the city in Invercargill, Tauranga, the Western Bay of Plenty, Wellington and Dunedin.

The most expensive outside of Auckland was a space on Clark St in Dunedin central that went for $100,000.

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