Home US US Cities with the Smallest Apartments Revealed, and Manhattan Homes Aren’t Near the Narrowest

US Cities with the Smallest Apartments Revealed, and Manhattan Homes Aren’t Near the Narrowest

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Seattle's new rental sizes are the smallest in the United States, and they're getting smaller

Residents could be forgiven for feeling like the walls are closing in on them in the troubled cities of Seattle and Portland, and a nationwide study of new rental apartment sizes suggests they would be right.

The two West Coast cities have the smallest new construction in the country, with an average unit size of 685 compact square feet in Portland and an even cozier 661 in Seattle.

That compares to a relatively spacious 737 square feet in Manhattan, where the average offering has grown by a notable 16 square feet in the last decade.

But Florida has established itself as America’s space hub, with Gainesville and Tallahassee topping the list with 1,173 and 1,159 square feet respectively.

“Larger living spaces are coming back,” Alexandra said. rentcafe.com who conducted the survey.

Seattle’s new rental sizes are the smallest in the United States, and they’re getting smaller

But a construction boom at the University of Florida's headquarters in Gainesville has helped give the city the largest newly constructed rental housing units in the country.

But a construction boom at the University of Florida’s headquarters in Gainesville has helped give the city the largest newly constructed rental housing units in the country.

‘The average size of new apartments in the US saw substantial growth in 2023, recovering to 916 square feet after a sharp drop the previous year.

“This increase can be attributed to more spacious two- and three-bedroom apartments opening last year as developers sought to meet tenants’ need for more space.”

The survey looked at new apartment sizes in the 100 largest cities in the United States.

And it found that New Yorkers aren’t the only big-city dwellers enjoying more space to stretch their legs, as new units have also gotten larger in Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, with an impressive 97 square feet in the case of the Windy City.

But although sizes are increasing overall, you have to pay more to feel the benefit.

“In general, small rentals are getting smaller and larger apartments are gaining square footage,” Both said.

‘More precisely, two- and three-bedroom apartments have been adding more space over the last decade, while studios and one-bedroom apartments have become increasingly more compact.

“Studios took the biggest hit after shrinking by a whopping 54 square feet in the last decade.”

1718952605 548 US Cities with the Smallest Apartments Revealed and Manhattan Homes

New rentals in Portland, Oregon are barely larger than Seattle at just 685 square feet

New rentals in Portland, Oregon are barely larger than Seattle at just 685 square feet

But Manhattan has defied expectations with a relatively spacious 727 square feet, 16 more in a decade.

But Manhattan has defied expectations with a relatively spacious 727 square feet, 16 more in a decade.

While apartments in Manhattan may be gaining space, its other New York boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn rank behind Seattle and Portland at just 692 and 712 square feet respectively.

Detroit, Michigan, ranks fifth among the bottom five, all of which have shrunk in the past decade.

Things could get even worse for renters in Seattle because the survey reveals that the size of apartments currently under construction averages a minuscule 430 square feet, only larger than those in San Jose, California, where the number is 423.

1718952606 979 US Cities with the Smallest Apartments Revealed and Manhattan Homes

“Small rentals are getting smaller and larger apartments are gaining square footage,” said Alexandra Both of rentcafe.com

By contrast, the Sun Belt dominates the list of cities where median apartment size is growing the fastest.

“Interestingly, American cities that offered the most spacious apartments have been building even larger ones over the past 10 years,” Both said.

‘Tucson, Arizona, gained a remarkable 246 square feet, enough to accommodate two additional guest bedrooms.

‘Other cities that similarly reflected this trend were Gainesville and Tallahassee, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Lubbock, Texas; and Knoxville, Tennessee.

Knoxville is also expected to see the largest increase in home prices in the coming year, with a projected increase of 6.1 percent, according to a Zillow report last month.

But it’s not all sunshine and light in the south with new rentals in Birmingham, Alabama, losing 141 square feet of room size on average, more than any other city on the list.

Across the United States, the share of single-family homes being built for rental has doubled in two years, as companies target those already fed up with paying a mortgage.

And the survey reveals good news for those who can rent at the top end of the market.

“Three-bedroom apartments are becoming more spacious and remain close to single-family homes in terms of square footage and rental costs,” Both said.

‘The size of a build-to-rent home increased to more than 1,400 square feet in 2023 for an average rent of $2,096, while the norm for a three-bedroom unit was closer to 1,350 square feet and $2,160 monthly rent.

“So in some places, renters may find it more convenient to rent a house rather than a three-bedroom unit.”

20 meters with the fastest growing house prices
City Change from last year
atlanta 6.40%
Boston 8%
Charlotte, NC 8.20%
chicago 8.90%
cleveland 7%
dallas 3.50%
Denver 2.70%
detroit 8.90%
Las Vegas 7.30%
the Angels 8.70%
Miami 8%
Minneapolis 3.90%
NY 8.70%
Phoenix 4.90%
Portland, Oregon. 2.20%
San Diego 11.40%
San Francisco 5.20%
seattle 7.10%
Tampa, Florida. 4.30%
Washington D.C. 7.10%

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