Parking Requirements Constrict Housing And Drive Up Prices Unnecessarily

Michael Manville has an excellent study in the latest issue of ACCESS magazine, documenting how the removal of parking requirements from developments boosts housing production and investment in otherwise-neglected areas. It also allows developers to provide parking that is actually in demand in creative, less expensive ways. He studied Downtown LA and the adaptive reuse ordinance that allowed developers to retrofit existing, vacant buildings for housing without having to provide new parking. Key conclusion:

I surveyed 56 ARO developments and gathered information about how they provided parking. I also examined over 1,500 downtown housing units using real estate transaction records, and interviewed planners, developers, and architects involved in converting ARO buildings into housing. What I found suggests that when cities remove parking requirements, developers build more housing with less parking, often in buildings and neighborhoods they had long ignored.

And the economic benefits for home-seekers are significant:

My results also suggest that units without parking are less expensive than units with parking. Controlling for many other differences, bundled parking was associated with about $200 a month in additional rent for apartments, and over $40,000 in additional selling prices for condos. Unregulated developers supplied a different, less expensive product than regulated developers.

Bottom line: state governments should ban locals from requiring parking minimums of developers. Let the market decide and allow developers to adapt to actual consumer demand.


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