These days, your car may have a better chance of finding a place to live than you do. It’s true: there are more three-car garages being built across the U.S. than one-bedroom apartments, according to census data recently highlighted by Bloomberg.
In the past two decades, more and more homes have been built to include large capacity garages. In 2015, for example, 24 percent of new constructions had garages for three or more cars and 61 percent had two-car garages. Those are the highest numbers since 1992, when the Census Bureau started tracking large garages.
It’s ironic, considering that the country is currently facing significant housing challenges. Home inventory is low and it’s estimated that 43 million new housing units need to be built to keep up with national population growth in the next 35 years. Meanwhile, the demand for car storage isn’t exactly growing so rapidly for garages to overtake living space. According to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there has only been a 2.4 percent increase for car ownership of three or more cars since 1990.
So why are there so many huge garages being built?
It turns out that even in the age of peer-to-peer sharing services like Uber and Lyft, the demand for more parking space is still prevalent. Part of the reason is multi-generational housing, says Pete Reeb, a principal at Jon Burns Real Estate Consulting.
“The kids are taking care of elderly parents or you have the new grad moving home after college, and now you have four cars where it might have been two before," he tells Bloomberg.
Another plausible reason for this boom is the increase of larger homes being built after the financial crisis. And since larger homes have ample space, larger garages are built right alongside them. So despite it looking like we’re moving away from car culture with self-driving cars and all those ride-sharing apps, our homes, at least, are still built for a future full of them.