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Waiting for a parking spot?

Published July 18, 2014

Are you having trouble finding a parking space these days? Fear not. It will get worse. Gone are the days when developers build in one or two parking spaces for every new apartment unit. Let’s take a look at what’s happening.

New construction that opened up in the region in 2011 had an average of 1.2 parking spaces per unit. Then the number of spaces started shrinking each year, dipping below 1:1 parking for properties built last year. And from the looks of things, that downward trend will continue for at least a few more years.

parking ratio by year

And this trend is for traditional apartments only. We’re not including microhousing in this analysis.

Not all apartment developers are cutting down on parking. 45% of the properties built since the beginning of 2011 or planned for completion by the end of 2016 have at least one parking space for each unit. But that also means 55% have less than 1:1 parking. And 25% have no more than 0.6 parking spaces per unit.

cumulative parking ratio

The amount of parking depends a lot on location though. Suburban markets are still car-centric, a lot more than the in-city Seattle market, shown as K-C in this chart or even the north end of Seattle, shown as K-N. Both of those submarkets have significantly less than 1:1 parking. By comparison, The Eastside, south King County, Pierce and Snohomish counties all have more than 1:1 parking… and in most cases, a lot more.

parking ratio by submarket

Are developers simply responding to consumer preferences? Or are consumers simply forced to adapt to market realities? It’s a bit of both. And, thanks to technology, it has created some new creative transportation solutions.


The slide show below contains the charts from this week's video.



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Next Friday

Be sure to check back next week for a new discussion of current apartment trends for the Puget Sound region.


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More video articles

Be sure to check back next week for a new video and discussion of current apartment trends for the Puget Sound region. Here are some other recent articles you may find interesting:

Editor's note: This is the complete article.

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December 18, 2014

Ken Bellamy: "We have subscribed to your research for many years to assist us in our underwriting of acquisitions. Dupre + Scott research gives us timely information on market rents, operating expenses, cap rates, in and a knowledgeable perspective on trends." (Ken is Managing Director of TriMet Development LLC, a Seattle investment company.)