New apartment size shrinking as developers focus on smaller layouts

  • Rentals built since 2010 are 7 percent smaller than those built between 2000 and 2009.
  • Midwest markets posted the biggest size drop during the time period, at 9 percent.
  • About 80 percent of the average size reduction is due to a change in living unit sizes.

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The tiny house movement doesn’t fit every lifestyle, but that’s not stopping developers from scaling back new apartment sizes. Average square footage for new construction rentals dropped 71 square feet in the past six years compared to the early 2000s, according to a new study of the top 20 metros from Robert Charles Lesser & Co. Advisory (RCLCO).