The Cost of Rent Increases as Apartment Sizes Decrease

a sunset behind large apartment buildings in a city

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In many parts of the U.S. the size of apartments is dramatically shrinking while the price tag on renting is steadily rising.

Most new apartments have an average square footage of 941. This is nearly 5% smaller than it was 10 years ago. Studio apartments are proving to be almost 10% smaller. Despite these smaller apartment dimensions, the U.S. is also seeing a 28% increase in the cost of rent.

The Younger Generation

Millennials make up the biggest portion of those who rent apartments these days. Studies show that they prioritize living near cafes and points of entertainment, as opposed to having a large living space.

The rising cost of living is causing a bump in the development of “micro-units.” Apartment complexes are utilizing common spaces for all to enjoy rather than expanding the spaces within each unit.

The price tag on renting is rapidly increasing for lower priced properties. Luxury rentals are seeing a much slower increase in price as opposed to low-end rentals.

The Southeastern region of the United States has shown to have the largest apartment sizes while California has shown to have the smallest.

Over the course of the last 10 years, California has had a tremendous decrease in apartment sizes, at almost 12%. 10% decreases can be see for the Northeast as well as the Northwest. The Midwest is the only area where apartment sizes are actually increasing, at a steady 1%.

As far as cities go, the smallest apartment units are in Seattle. Seattle has an average unit size of 711 square feet. The 2nd and 3rd smallest spots belong to Manhattan and Chicago respectively.

Alternative Options

With the cost of rent on the rise, buying a home may be the better option. Not only do you get to design the place exactly as you like, but you can take pride in the fact that you own your own home.


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