Apartment sizes on the rise after decade-long shrinking trend

The average size of new apartments in the U.S. saw substantial growth in 2023, bouncing back to 916 sf after a steep decline the previous year. That is according to a recent RentCafe market insight report released this month.

The growth in average apartment size can be attributed to the influx of two- and three-bedroom units coming on the market. In cities like Jacksonville and Orlando, Fla., large apartments lead the pack, while metros like Seattle, Wash., lead the top 100 metros in smallest unit sizes.

10 Year History of Average Apartment Size Changes

For the past 10 years, the average size of multifamily housing units have been steadily shrinking. This is driven by one-bedroom apartments that dominate the landscape, comprising nearly half (48%) of all apartments built in 2023.

Recent uptick in average apartment size graph

Studio apartments have shrunk by 54 sf over the last decade. One-bedroom unit sizes have decreased by 7 sf over the last ten years—a trend we’re familiar with seeing—to an average of 733 sf in 2023.


RELATED: Average size of new apartments dropped sharply in 2022


On the other hand, two- and three-bedroom units continue to grow in size on a 10-year average. Two-bedroom apartment sizes rose seven sf last year, reaching 1,099 sf. Three-bedroom units dipped to an average size of 1,347 sf in 2023, but are still 19 sf larger than they were ten years ago.

Average size of new apartments by unit type

Average Apartment Size by Region in 2023

Which cities have grown to become home to the largest apartments? According to the report, sunbelt destinations cater best to renters looking for spacious living. The top state? Florida.

Top 10 Cities With Largest Size of New Apartments
 

  1. Gainesville, Fla., boasts an average new apartment size of 1,173 sf. This is a 10-year percentage increase of 19.7%—the largest increase of all top 10 metropolitan areas.
  2. Tallahassee, Fla., has an average new apartment size of 1,159 sf in 2023. This marks a 10-year increase of 15.4%.
  3. Baton Rouge, La., increased its apartment size average to 1,068 sf, a 17.6% increase over the last decade.
  4. Knoxville, Tenn., has an average apartment size of 1,057 sf in 2023. This is 18.1% greater than its apartment size average ten years ago.
  5. Marietta, Ga., while having the lowest growth of the top ten metros, saw its average unit sizes increase to 1,055 sf. This is a 2.9% growth over the last 10 years.
  6. Lubbock, Texas, has grown its average apartment size to 1,037 sf last year. This is a 10-year increase of 17.3%.
  7. Greensboro, N.C., increased its units to an average of 1,035 sf, a 13.2% increase over a ten year period.
  8. Henderson, Nev., grew its apartment size to 1,021 sf, an 8% increase over the last decade.
  9. Columbia, S.C., has an average unit size of 1,019 sf, a mere 3.7% growth since 2014.
  10. Louisville, Ky., has reached an average apartment size of 1,017 sf. This size is 15% greater than it was ten years ago for the metro.

 

Average apartment size 2023 across U.S.


Click here to read the full RentCafe report: National Apartment Size Rebounds as More 2- & 3-Bedroom Rentals Are Built

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