DataMarkets & Economy

How much does moving into a bigger apartment really cost?

Moving up from a studio to a one-bedroom is a big step in Chicago, NYC
  • RentCafé study shows sizing up to a one-bedroom from a studio costs anywhere between $51 and $1,169 extra per month.
  • New York City features the highest dollar amount increase, at an average $1,169 more for a one-bedroom compared to a studio, and $1,710 extra for a two-bedroom compared to a one-bedroom.
  • In Houston, one-bedroom renters gain an average additional 229 square feet for just $176 extra per month compared to studio costs.

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Studio and convertible apartments work fine for 20-somethings who spend most of their free time out and about. But when you’re working from home, hosting dinner parties or moving in with a significant other, sizing up is a virtual necessity.

RentCafé crunched the numbers from apartment data firm Yardi Matrix to pinpoint how much more renters spend to stretch their legs in the biggest cities across the nation, finding some varied results.

To upgrade from a studio apartment, the report shows renters in the U.S. can expect monthly costs to increase anywhere between 7 percentage points and 43 percentage points. Meanwhile, moving from a one-bedroom to a two-bedroom boosts housing dues by 6 percentage points to 43 percentage points, on average.

In dollar amounts, sizing up from a studio costs between $51 and $1,169 more per month across the 25 largest U.S. cities by population, accoridng to the report. To expand from a one-bedroom to a two-bedroom unit, renters face an additional $43 to $1,710 per month, depending on location.

Where does sizing up cost the most?

In Chicago, the cost disparity between studios and one-bedrooms is an average 43 percentage points. The largest percentage increase among the top cities, it costs an average $532 more per month for around 253 additional square feet, the report shows. Two-bedrooms in the Windy City deliver 333 extra square feet at $689 more per month.

New York City holds the second largest jump in rent (41 percent) to transition from a studio to one-bedroom unit, adding a steep $1,169 extra per month for just 190 square feet, according to the report. Upgrading to a two-bedroom from a one-bedroom in the Big Apple costs an additional $1,710 per month for 421 extra square feet, the report shows.

One-bedrooms in San Francisco offer 243 extra square feet compared to studios, but cost $778 more — a 33 percentage point price jump between apartment types. To expand to a two-bedroom in the City by the Bay, RentCafé says renters shell out $1,092 extra for 311 additional square feet.

3 essential tools that will 10X your real estate marketing
Smart landing pages, a synchronized database and automation generate results READ MORE

Los Angeles studio renters should prepare to budget 31 percent more for a one-bedroom unit, according to the report, which brings 202 additional square feet on average for around $456 extra. Two-bedrooms in L.A. run $787 higher than one-bedrooms, with an average size increase of 314 square feet.

For Washington D.C. renters sizing up from a studio, the report shows transitioning into a one-bedroom adds an average $360 per month — 22 percentage points higher than the average studio. One-bedrooms provide an additional 237 square feet compared to studios in the nation’s capital, while renters expanding to two-bedroom units gain an average 275 square feet for $497 more per month.

Houston renters face an average 23 percentage point price increase to upgrade to a one-bedroom apartment from a studio, or a moderate $176 extra per month; these higher dues add 229 square feet on average. To move to a two-bedroom, renters in Houston spend $222 more for a bonus 310 square feet, according to the report.

Email Jennifer Riner