New apartments are seven percent smaller than they were a decade ago.
An RCLCO report analyzed the 20 U.S. metro areas and found that apartment units built between 2010 and 2016 are 917 square feet, on average. Units built between 2000 and 2009 averaged 988 square feet.
The decline in unit size is not isolated to the coasts; rather, unit size is declining across the country. In fact, aggregating the markets surveyed by region, the Midwest has experienced the largest percentage decrease. Furthermore, of the 20 markets analyzed, only two saw average new unit size increase this period—San Diego and Riverside, California. The rest saw average unit size diminish by as much as 25%.
The average unit size shrank the most in moderate- and high-cost markets. Apartments in Philadelphia, Detroit, and Seattle experienced the largest decreases in size.