Housing costs in California are high right now, in large part due to the ongoing shortage. Will they stay that way? Maybe not—there have been some hopeful signs for the future. Recently, the county created a $25 million trust fund for affordable housing, and a report from the University of San Diego showed that residential home building is on the rise along with consumer confidence.
Now one real estate analyst from San Diego by the name of Gary London has made a fascinating prediction. London believes that self-driving cars could drive down housing costs.
Self-driving cars are soon going to be commonplace in our everyday lives. Indeed, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee just recently approved a bill which will provide automotive manufacturers with the option of putting as many as 80,000 of them on the roads inside the next several years.
Gary London believes that this will result in a couple of developments. The first is that it will be less common for people to own cars, since they will instead simply call for driverless taxies wherever they are and whenever they need them. The second is that this will mean less parking will need to be constructed. This in turn could cut costs for housing construction by as much as 25%.
In fact, reviewing the San Diego Housing commission’s September report, we can see what this might potentially translate to in terms of dollar value saved.
The report stated that it costs around $10,000 for a ground level parking spot to be constructed for a new San Diego apartment. That cost rises to $30,000 if the spot is above-ground, and soars to an astonishing $70,000 if it is underground.
Imagine how much money could be saved collectively for a single apartment complex. Those savings could then be passed on to the consumer. It is reasonable to assume that this applies to houses as well.
It costs anywhere from $2,000-$11,000 to construct an asphalt driveway for a house. Deducting that would likewise reduce suburban housing prices.
So are self-driving cars the answer to California’s housing cost woes? Only the future can tell. But we certainly have cause to be optimistic.