Title

Hidden costs and deadweight losses: Bundled parking and residential rents in the metropolitan United States

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-8-2016

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Abstract

There is a major housing affordability crisis in many American metropolitan areas, particularly for renters. Minimum parking requirements in municipal zoning codes drive up the price of housing, and thus represent an important potential for reform for local policymakers. The relationship between parking and housing prices, however, remains poorly understood. We use national American Housing Survey data and hedonic regression techniques to investigate this relationship. We find that the cost of garage parking to renter households is approximately $1,700 per year, or an additional 17% of a housing unit’s rent. In addition to the magnitude of this transport cost burden being effectively hidden in housing prices, the lack of rental housing without bundled parking imposes a steep cost on carless renters—commonly the lowest income households—who may be paying for parking that they do not need or want. We estimate the direct deadweight loss for carless renters to be $440 million annually. We conclude by suggesting cities reduce or eliminate minimum parking requirements, and allow and encourage landlords to unbundle parking costs from housing costs.