The Dawn of the Parking Wars

A four foot wide parking spot in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal can be worth tens of thousands of dollars – but most of us refuse to pay for them as part of our rent, HOA or condo fees. So with the population of Canada climbing annually and the supply of parking ever-dwindling, the parking that is available is becoming prime real estate.

What does this mean for you, car-owner and urban dweller? Well, we may very well be witnessing the dawn of the parking wars. If you have a parking space, hold on to it – and if you don’t, it’s time to get your sticky little fingers on one.

Developers Capitalizing on Parking Spaces

Sure, most of us don’t mind commuting – some of us even prefer it, but we still want to keep our cars. Cars mean parking spaces, and parking spaces are prime real estate that could be used for glittering glass towers and multiple tiers of penthouses looking down on a Canadian version of Gotham that Batman himself would kill to get a view of.

Real estate developers, at least the smart ones, know that there are only so many parking spaces. They’re looking down 3, 5 even 10 years down the road, commoditizing and capitalizing on existing space and squeezing every last bit of profitability out of existing space.

Owners Capitalizing Too

Even if you don’t own a car, you can rent out your space for anywhere from $150 to $350 a month – and that number grows yearly. Some even go so far as to sell their condo and KEEP their parking space, renting it out to another resident of the building or to the owner of the spot because the bylaws weren’t clear about how the parking space transfers from owner to owner.

One thing’s for sure: if you’re going to buy or rent in a major city, you need to know your parking rights and responsibilities before you sign on the dotted line.

Know the Parking Situation Before You Sign

If you’re thinking about buying a condo or even renting an apartment in a major city, parking should be a major factor in your decision (but only if you have a car). Ask the following questions:

  • Am I buying my parking spot, or am I just renting it?
  • Can I sell or rent out my parking spot (tread lightly here!)
  • What is the rent on my parking space (if any), and how often will the price be adjusted?
  • How and why could I lose my parking space? Is there any remediation process?

Your parking spot is just as important as the interior of your home – even if you don’t have a car right now, you might later. The last thing you want to worry about is having to leave your car at a mass transit depot or airport parking and paying extra fees on top just because you didn’t plan ahead.

Could this be the Dawn of The Parking Wars? Maybe, only time will tell – it never hurts to grab a spot while you can.

The Goodale Miller Team is the #1 team in Canada for Century 21 11 years running.  Specializing in Oakville luxury real estate including Lakefront homes, infill building lots, condominiums and more. For a listing of luxury homes for sale in the Oakville area visit their homes for sale page here:

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