$500,000 for a parking spot? Inside the world of exclusive parking in Boston.

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The Boston Globe

The Brimmer Street Garage, at 70 Brimmer St. in Beacon Hill, was once used as stables where wealthy residents would leave their horse carriages. JONATHAN WIGGS/GLOBE STAFF

There are plenty of places in the country where $500,000 will buy you a beautiful home, an estate even. In parts of Boston, it gets you a parking space.

On Beacon Hill, the Brimmer Street Garage offers perhaps the city’s most exclusive parking. Real estate agent Betsy Herald has sold three spots for around $500,000 a piece in the past year, including one this month. And in a neighborhood of lavish homes and little to no parking, realtors say that some residents barely bat an eye at the cost.

“If you’re purchasing a house at that level, to add in $500,000 for that parking convenience is really not that shocking,” said Herald, recalling that every space she sold was paid for in cash.

Parking spot sales aren’t easy to track. Public listings are rare and spots are often included in condo or home sales, making their value unclear. But when the true cost is revealed — recent sales have been for hundreds of thousands of dollars — they provide a stark indication of how expensive the Boston housing market is.

“You have to look at it as a piece of land,” said Herald, who works with The Charles Realty. “If you took that parking space and multiplied it by 20, you have a developable piece of land in Boston, which is worth a significant amount of money.”

At the Brimmer Street Garage, whose website describes itself as Beacon Hill’s “most exclusive venue to capture a parking space,” spots are sold privately like condominiums — residents pay association fees and property taxes on them.

The garage, which once kept horses and carriages, now has round-the-clock valet service. Residents can have their car detailed, cleaned, and filled up with gas.

“The garage becomes the option for them to make living in their dream neighborhood, and their dream house on Beacon Hill, a reality,” Herald said. (The garage manager declined to comment, saying they were not authorized to speak to the media).

Real estate agent Betsy Herald has sold three parking spots for around $500,000 — each — in the past year, including one this month. JONATHAN WIGGS/GLOBE STAFF

Last year, a property on Beacon Street sold for $28.25 million, the most expensive single-family home sale in Boston’s history, and numerous other multi-million-dollar units are on the market. For people with that kind of money, buying a parking space is about convenience, realtors said.

“To have that same space every time versus driving around in circles looking for resident parking, right? You could do that all day,” said Beth Dickerson, a realtor for Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty.

It’s not just Beacon Hill. On the edge of the Back Bay, a couple received a $750,000 offer for a parking space in 2022, the Wall Street Journal reported. Dickerson is currently selling an outdoor, parallel parking space on Beacon Street for $350,000. The valuation is based on what the market for that area indicated, she said, noting that a nearby spot sold for $385,000.

Realtor Beth Dickerson is currently selling this outdoor, parallel parking space on Beacon Street for $350,000. BETH DICKERSON, HANDOUT

Some luxury condos in the Back Bay, particularly buildings on the corner that take up the whole property, don’t have attached parking garages, Dickerson said. But many have a valet, doorman, or concierge who will park cars for residents with spots. There are also independent valet companies, such as Acorn, in Beacon Hill.

In the South End, Dan DiStefano was selling a condo that came with a garage parking spot. The seller wanted $1.7 million for both, a price he wasn’t sure they’d get. So he split the sale. The condo sold for $1.4 million and a different buyer, who already lived in the building and had expressed interest in the parking spot, agreed to pay $220,000 for the space.

Condo regulations often mandate that parking spots be sold to residents within the building, which can bring down the price. But in this case, it worked to the advantage of DiStefano’s client — he estimated that the spot sold for five times its market value.

“People can wrap their heads around a condo selling for $1 million, $2 million, even though it’s a high price point,” said DiStefano, a realtor for Engel & Völkers. “But when someone thinks of one garage parking spot for [that much], their mouths kind of hit the floor.”

In the Back Bay, Rene Rodriguez, a realtor at Cabot & Company, sold an outdoor spot in an alley for $250,000 last year.

“If you own a house next door that you paid [that much] for, and you have the opportunity to buy a parking spot, whether it’s $250,000 or $500,000, it doesn’t really matter,” Rodriguez said.

Across Boston, the market for parking spaces is proportional to the market for housing, realtors said. For high-end property owners, buying a parking spot could be a good investment — as property values have appreciated, so have the cost of parking spots. Dickerson said the $350,000 spot in the Back Bay she’s selling went for about $275,000 seven or eight years ago.

At the Brimmer Street Garage, spots started at $7,500 in 1979, and are now more than $500,000, with a waiting list.

Some Boston realtors say these parking spots are indicative of the city’s white-hot real estate market, which can stun outsiders. Herald remembers when her sister, a realtor in Portland, Ore., told her about a beautiful small house with a view of a river she sold for $500,000.

“I’ll say ‘Really, I just sold a parking space for $500,000,’ ” she said.

For high-end property owners, buying a parking spot could be a good investment — as property values have appreciated, so have the cost of parking spots. JONATHAN WIGGS/GLOBE STAFF

When Herald was getting started as a realtor in Boston more than two decades ago, there was a parking space behind her Newbury Street office up for sale for about $15,000.

“I thought ‘That’s insane,’” she said. “I don’t have that kind of money.”

She’s rented it ever since for about $500 a month. It’s now worth about $400,000, she estimates.

“I would have easily paid it back and had increased equity,” she said with a laugh. “So it would have been one of the best financial decisions in my life.”

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