While Houses Get Bigger, Apartments Get Smaller
September 4, 2020
New homes have gotten larger, many with a room dedicated to each family member, plus a guest bedroom. On the other hand, apartments are feeling more cramped.
New single-family homes built in 2019 are 18% larger than overall inventory, according to new research from STORAGECafe that analyzed the evolution of new-home and apartment sizes from 2010 to 2019. The average size of a new single-family home built in 2019 was 2,611 feet.
While new homes get larger, apartments, though, have dropped in size by nearly 90 square feet over the last decade, averaging 1,156 square feet in 2019, according to STORAGECafe research.
The main reasons for the boost in square footage in new-home construction are that builders are maximizing plot sizes and buyers are showing an interest in larger homes—a trend which could grow even more during the COVID-19 pandemic, STORAGECafe notes.
Homes in the U.S. are among the largest in the world and are twice as big as many European homes, such as in Greece and Germany. Forty-three percent of all new single-family homes constructed in 2019 in the U.S. had four bedrooms or more compared to 35% in 2010.
Among the 20 largest U.S. cities, Chicago has the largest homes. New single-family homes there averaged 3,330 square feet in 2019, about 916 square feet more than a home built nearly 10 years prior. Homes in Denver, however, have been getting smaller over the last decade. The average home there is 2,056 square feet, which is 197 square feet less than in 2010.
Apartment life isn’t as roomy. Newer apartments are coming with fewer bedrooms. The number of one-bedroom apartments constructed each year has increased from 35% in 2010 to 42% in 2019, according to STORAGECafe research. Two-bedroom apartments are less popular, falling from 45% of newly built apartments in 2010 to now 39%. Only 11% of new apartments in 2019 had three or more bedrooms.
Seattle has the smallest newly built apartments in the country, averaging 676 square feet. On the other hand, Jacksonville, Fla., has the largest, averaging 987 square feet.
“Average Home Size in the U.S.: New Homes Bigger Than 10 Years Ago But Apartments Trail Behind,” STORAGECafe (Sept. 2, 2020)
Updated: October 29, 2020