Self-driving and shared cars: a game changer in the property world?

Car-sharing concepts like Uber and Zoomy are already changing the perception of car ownership, and although self-driving cars may still seem in the realm of the Jetsons, it seems they are well and truly on their way.

Some predict Uber will be offering driverless rides just two years from now, with them widely available within five years. With the biggest cost of an Uber ride being payment to the driver, driverless rides are expected to become much cheaper (as well as more convenient) than owning your own car.

Once mainstream, the implications of self-driving and shared cars on our lifestyles would be massive, particularly in urban areas. But what about our properties and real estate?

Some of the ways self-driving and shared cars would impact real estate:

1. Houses and apartments without parking spaces would become more desirable

The concept would reduce the need for parking spaces and garages at home. That cute villa in central Auckland you loved but had no off-street parking? Won’t be a problem.

2. Homes with garages could increase their living space

With around 15% of the average NZ home being taken up by garage space, these spaces could be used for far more enjoyable things than keeping your car out of the weather! Table tennis, anyone?

3. More affordable housing

Self-driving cars will mean less un-used cars requiring parking space, but any parking required can also be much more efficient. Land previously used for parking (and maybe even petrol stations) will free up for housing, and developers will no longer need to factor in costs of creating parking spaces, all resulting in more affordable housing.

4. Reduced congestion on the roads, making outer suburbs more desirable.

We can practically hear the sounds of city dwellers celebrating. With high tech cars, no crashes and no cars driving around looking for parks, comes more efficient use of the roads – and a quicker ride! Apparently there are even plans for cars to be able to interact with each other and the environment, detecting and rerouting around congestion. Overall, making outer suburbs more and more desirable.

5.  A more enjoyable and productive commute, again making outer suburbs more desirable.

Without the need to drive yourself, the car could become your breakfast table, second office, or the perfect spot for your morning coffee and paper. The commute from Puhoi to Auckland Central isn’t looking so bad after all….