Markets in Everything (Boston Parking Spaces Edition)

I have to get into this action, somehow. Money can be made hand over fist:

A slab of asphalt, a couple of white lines, it often comes as part and parcel of a home purchase without too much thought. But in cities like Boston, parking spaces are at a premium, and prices have been climbing for years. In certain neighborhoods, the price of a home can go up $100,000 or $200,000 if parking is included, which it often is not, only adding pressure to the supply and demand crunch that drives prices up further.

Jaws dropped in 2009 when someone paid $300,000 for a parking space, which was thought to be a record.

But now, even that has been shattered. At an auction on Thursday, the bidding for a tandem spot — space for two cars, one behind the other — started out at $42,000. It ended 15 minutes later at $560,000.

The spaces are behind 298 Commonwealth Avenue in the Back Bay, one of the costliest neighborhoods in the city.

“What we’ve seen is the meteoric rise of these prices as the professional class has moved into town,” said Steven Cohen, a Boston-based principal and broker at Keller Williams Realty International. “The Back Bay is almost on a par with Lower Manhattan and Switzerland.”

The winning bidder, Lisa Blumenthal, lives next door in a multimillion-dollar single-family home that already has three parking spots. She told The Boston Globe that the auction was a rare chance to acquire more parking for guests and workers, though she did not expect the bidding to run so high.

And yet, she still paid.