The average size of new apartments across the country has decreased by 30 square feet year over year, according to a new report from RentCafe. While this is due in part to an increased need for housing, the decrease in square footage can also be attributed to an elevated share of studio and one-bedroom apartments joining the rental market.
Ten years ago, the average U.S. apartment was 941 square feet. In 2021, this number dropped to 917 square feet. Then, in 2022, apartment sizes saw the largest year-over-year decrease — 30 square feet — bringing the average down to 887 square feet. Notably, the proportion of studio and one-bedroom apartments also reached an all-time high last year at 57% of all new apartments built.
When broken down by unit type, studio apartments underwent a 13-square-foot decrease in size while one- and two-bedroom apartments shrunk by 12 square feet. Meanwhile, the size of three-bedroom apartments actually increased by 15 square feet.
Renters in the South are the most likely to find apartments with above-average sizes; RentCafe’s report shows that the average apartment size in the South was 993 square feet — well above the national average. In contrast, apartments in the Pacific Northwest were more likely to be much smaller than average, with an average size of 776 square feet.
Specifically, Seattle was the city with the smallest apartment sizes in the whole country, with an average size of 659 square-feet. This represents a 30-foot decrease (-5%) in apartment size over 10 years.