There’s been a great deal of discussion in recent months about the rising cost of rent in much of the US, but a recent report from RENT Café reveals that while rental prices are increasing the apartments they’re paying for are shrinking.
According to the study conducted by the apartment finder website the average size of a new apartment has fallen by eight percent from 2006 to 2016. Currently new units are just 934 square feet on average.
Traditionally tiny studio apartments, where the living space combines a bedroom, living room, dining area, and kitchen into one small room, saw an even greater reduction in size of eighteen percent. These small homes are now being built at just 504 square feet on average.
Apartment size varies by region – with cost of living and urban density likely impacting developers’ decisions. The Southeast is home to the largest new units on average, while renters can expect to find small spaces in California and the Western part of the country.
When looking at the city level Atlanta, Georgia tops the list of cities with the largest new apartments on average. Other southern cities of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Raleigh, North Carolina were next in line at #2 and #3 respectively.
Wondering where units are the smallest? A reasonable guess would be New York City. It’s common to hear about cramped quarters and astronomic rent prices for those moving to the Big Apple. Surprisingly though, when it comes to the average size of new apartments NYC units are roomier than those of many other US cities. Tucson, Arizona had the smallest new apartments, followed by El Paso, Texas and Buffalo, New York.
So is this dwindling living space a bad thing? Not necessarily. As the tiny house movement has shown the idea of simplifying life and making do with fewer possessions can be very attractive. Smaller homes take fewer resources to build; and less energy to heat, cool, and light up at night, making them a more environmentally friendly choice. They also tend to be less expensive to furnish and maintain.
The news of rental prices on the rise and living space on the decline may encourage renters to consider whether the time is right to become homeowners. Whether they love the idea of a small home or are looking for a little more space to spread out, many renters would prefer to not have to worry about the cost of rent rising each year. Show them how monthly mortgage payments compare to monthly rental prices on similar properties in your area and often the idea of a real estate purchase will look even more attractive.
Photography by [hxdbzxy] © 123RF.com
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