Parking Rates Virtually Unchanged in U.S., Up Moderately in Canada

by CoyDavidson on July 7, 2011

Colliers International North American Parking Rate Survey

According to Colliers International’s annual survey of parking rates in North America, released today, Midtown and Downtown Manhattan are the most expensive places in the U.S. to park, with median monthly rates at $541 and $533, respectively. Third-place Boston, at $438, is more than 19 percent less per month than Midtown Manhattan and well above the national average of $155.22.

Rounding out the top ten most expensive central business district (CBD) monthly parking rates in the U.S. are San Francisco ($375); Philadelphia ($304); Seattle ($294); Chicago ($289); Washington ($260); Honolulu ($217); and Los Angeles ($210). On the other end of the spectrum is Reno, Nev. with a monthly rate of only $45; Phoenix at $50, and Bakersfield, Calif. at $53.

Despite the high rates in Manhattan, the cost of parking there and across the U.S. held fairly steady when compared to 2010. Nationally, the median monthly parking rate decreased 0.2 percent in the last year. In Manhattan, rates inched up only 0.6 percent in Midtown and just 0.8 percent Downtown. Median monthly rate changes in other major markets include Boston, up 3.1 percent; Washington, up 6.1 percent; Houston, up 4.8 percent; Los Angeles, down 0.2 percent; and Chicago, down 9.7 percent. San Francisco was unchanged.

“This year’s parking rate survey reflects a moderately improving economy and better office leasing fundamentals,” said Ross Moore, Colliers International’s chief economist. “Despite these improvements, operators are still holding the line on parking rates.”

Midtown Manhattan took the top spot for median daily parking rates at $41, followed by Honolulu at $38 and Boston at $34. The rest of the top ten daily median parking rates were Chicago ($32); Downtown Manhattan and Los Angeles ($30); San Francisco, San Diego and Philadelphia ($26); and Seattle ($24).

Major market year-to-year changes in daily parking rates include Boston, up 6.3 percent; Chicago, up 3.2 percent; Houston, up 20.8 percent; Los Angeles, up 1.2 percent; Midtown Manhattan, up 2.5 percent; San Francisco, up 4.0 percent; Washington, up 20 percent; and Downtown Manhattan, down 3.2 percent.

“The long-term trend is still for rates to move higher, but any near-term movement will be dictated by the vigor of the economic recovery,” added Moore.

In Canada, the story was a bit different than in the U.S., with the monthly median parking rate increasing by 3.0 percent over 2010 to $241.59 USD. Calgary led the pack with a median monthly rate of $486 USD, followed by Toronto at $342 USD and Montreal at $305 USD. Daily median rates also were highest in Calgary at $25.73 USD, followed by Toronto at $23.67 USD and Vancouver at $20.59 USD.

With the exception of Greenville, S.C., Phoenix, Hartford and Walnut Creek, Calif., where parking availability was described as abundant, parking in all other cities surveyed in both the U.S. and Canada was described as limited or fair. With only five new parking facilities under construction in the U.S. and seven in Canada, that situation is unlikely to change significantly.

Even high-cost U.S. and Canadian cities seem like a relative bargain when compared to parking rates in some European, Asian and Australian cities. London – City was the most expensive place in the world to park, with an astronomical $1,084 median price for a monthly spot. London’s West End was close behind at $1,014 per month, followed by Zurich at $822 and Rome at $719. In Asia, Hong Kong and Tokyo both topped New York’s median monthly cost for a parking spot reaching $745 and $744, respectively. Perth, Australia also topped the Big Apple with a median cost for a monthly spot at $717.

Data for the 2011 Parking Rate Survey was collected during the month of June 2011 and includes all relevant taxes. Sources for the data include third parties, owners/operators and Colliers International. Survey data includes only covered or underground parking garages in prime central business districts. All rates are reported in U.S. dollars.

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