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Big, Small, Bigger, Smaller: Apartment Size Trends

Apartment Size Trends
January 2019

Renters in some markets today are paying more for less space compared to 10 years ago. Based on RENTCafé’s recent study of the average apartment size in the top 100 cities with the largest rental stock, the average apartment in the United States has shrunk by 52 square feet in 10 years, clocking in at 941 square feet in 2018.

  • Rents in newly-built apartments have increased by 28 percent, but their size has become 5 percent smaller compared to 2008.
  • Seattle has the tiniest apartments in the country, with an average size of 711 square feet, followed by Manhattan and Chicago, both with 733 square feet.
  • Tallahassee offers the best bang for the buck with the most spacious rentals in the nation, at an average size of 1,038 square feet.
  • Apartments in Detroit and Phoenix have suffered the biggest cuts in size during the past 10 years, 27 percent and 19 percent, respectively. Los Angeles and Boston apartments are also in the top five in terms of size reduction.
  • Although rentals in San Francisco and Manhattan are among the smallest in the nation, they have been increasing in size in recent years, up by 13 percent and 12 percent respectively, compared to 10 years prior.
  • Denver, Colorado Springs and San Jose have seen dramatic changes in rents and size in opposite directions over the past decade. Rents here jumped 60 percent, while rental sizes went down between 4 percent and 11 percent.