The size of new apartments has fluctuated significantly in the post-pandemic apartment market. Initially, in 2020, the increased demand for more space by those now working from home resulted in larger rentals. After all, we have be able to put that Zoom home studio setup somewhere.
However, with the demand still high for homes, the size of new apartments is beginning to shrink, according to a new study by RentCafe. Beginning in 2022, the average apartment size had decreased to 887 square feet, 54 square feet less than in 2012. Yet, the largest drop in one year was from 917 to 887 square feet in 2022, a decrease of 30 square feet.
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After two years of the pandemic, when the average size of new apartments actually increased, last year's decrease was noteworthy. Developers during those two years adjusted floor plans of new builds to accommodate extra space for things like home offices. In 2022, with the level of construction as high as it has been in 50 years, and with a greater demand for more housing, a record number of studios and one-bedroom apartments were completed.
This demand for more housing resulted studios and one-bedroom apartments taking up a 57% share of the market, which is a record high. This is a significant difference from 10 years ago, when those smaller units made up exactly half of the newly built apartments.
So, where in the country can you expect to find the largest apartments? According to RentCafe, in 2022, new builds in the Southern United States are an average of 993 square feet — an extra 106 square feet than the national average. That same year, the smallest amount of space was in the Pacific Northwest, where units averaged 776 square feet.
Check out the full report to see how your part of the country fares, or where you'd like to go to maximize your space in 2023.