As driverless cars become more popular and the technology more advanced, real estate design and values are likely to adapt. According to Justin Thompson, a columnist at, driverless cars could usher in an era where people voluntarily “forego car ownership and/or leasing in favor of [a ride-sharing] system.” If that happens, the way that residential real estate is designed, with parking or garage space as part of the package, could change dramatically.

Thompson speculated that the increase in usable square footage could send home values skyrocketing. For example, in Los Angeles County, current price-per-square-foot for a residential dwelling ranges between $400 and $600. Garage space is not usually included in the square footage of a home, so even a 100-square-foot increase in a home’s size could, in this location, boost a home’s price by up to $60,000.

Thompson noted this type of increase would offer many benefits, including:

  • Increased living area square footage
  • Increased home values
  • Additional property tax revenues
  • Increased permitting fee revenues

He also observed that in areas where housing is in very short supply, such as Los Angeles County, a shift away from the need for garages could enable homeowners to convert those spaces into separate apartment units for rent. “That change alone could, in turn, result in an increase in home values and a corresponding increase in property taxes,” he wrote.


Categories | Article | Market & Trends
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