The Garage Isn’t Obsolete—Yet

November 7, 2018

The popularity of ride-sharing services and the coming of driverless cars paints a picture of garages disappearing from American homes. But we’re not there yet. Americans are still mostly dependent on their cars, and that means homeowners crave garage space—a lot of it.

Driveway of house

© Erik Isaksson - Blend Images/Getty Images

In fact, the majority of homeowners want space in their garages to accommodate two or more cars, Jenni Lantz, DesignLends manager for John Burns Real Estate Consulting, told home building industry magazine BUILDER. The firm recently surveyed about 24,000 new-home shoppers across the country and almost none of them said they sought a home without a garage. “I don’t think we’re quite in the no-car garage space yet,” Lantz said.

Of the 795,000 new single-family homes built in 2017, 65 percent had two-car garages and only 6 percent had one-car garages, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In fact, the percentage of homes built with no garages has declined over the last decade, while homes built with two-car garages is one the rise.

Even households with only one adult or just one car are favoring larger garages. Some desire a two-car garage or more for the additional storage, according to Mikaela Sharp, a John Burns consultant.

As the size of homes goes up, so does the number of garage spaces the homeowner tends to want. For example, 78.3 percent of homes between 2,000 to 2,399 square feet have a two-car garage, while only 15.2 percent of homes smaller than 1,200 square feet have two-car garages, according to data from the National Association of Home Builders. Certain regions show a higher desire for three-car garages or more. Researchers identified one region that includes Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, and the Dakotas as having the highest share of garage spaces at three or more. And in areas of the Southwest, such as in Texas, three-car garages are more popular than two-car garages.