Adobe Stock

Larger living spaces are making a rebound, according to RentCafe. As more two- and three-bedroom apartments are delivered, the average U.S. apartment size increased by 27 square feet in 2023 from the previous year to 916 square feet.

While one-bedroom apartments still dominated construction at a share of 48.3% last year, the share of two- (39.2%) and three-bedroom (7.3%) units increased in 2023 compared with the 10-year average of 38.6% and 7.1%, respectively.

In Florida, Gainesville and Tallahassee were the top two cities with the largest sizes of new apartments followed by Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Marietta, Georgia. Throughout the last decade, rentals in the Sun Belt have continued to gain floor space.

For example, Gainesville—with an average of 1,173 square feet for new units—has gained nearly 200 more square feet than the historical average for its apartments. At an average of 1,159 square feet for new apartments, Tallahassee has seen growth of more than 155 square feet since 2014.

Tucson, Arizona, has seen the largest increase in apartment size compared with rentals built before 2014. The city’s average apartment square footage gained nearly 250 square feet in a decade and now sits at an average size of 989 square feet.

On the other end of the spectrum, Seattle ranked No. 1 for the smallest size apartments with new units measuring an average of 661 square feet. Portland, Oregon, with 685 square feet; Queens, New York, with 692 square feet; Brooklyn, New York, with 712 square feet; and Detroit, with 726 square feet, rounded out the top five for smallest apartment sizes and continue to get smaller.

New apartments in Birmingham, Alabama, experienced the largest shrinkage in 2023, losing 141 square feet over the last decade. Silver Spring, Maryland, and Omaha, Nebraska, followed in downsizing at 122 square feet and 65 square feet, respectively.

Looking ahead, San Jose, California; Seattle; and Los Angeles have the smallest rentals under construction, with Seattle and San Jose averaging below 450 square feet and Los Angeles averaging 553 square feet.

Future apartments in Port St. Lucie and Fort Myers, Florida, have the largest apartments under construction at 1,283 square feet and 1,132 square feet, respectively. Wake Forest, North Carolina, is following with an average of 1,117 square feet for rentals under construction. RentCafe says that cities that are building above the 1,000 square feet threshold are mostly located in the Southeast.