Mar 21, 2023 - Real Estate

Atlanta's newer apartments are shrinking in size

Data: RentCafe analysis of Yardi Matrix data; Note: Analysis includes U.S. metro areas (defined by Yardi Matrix market boundaries) with the most apartments located in multi-family buildings of 50 units or more; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

We're not yet at Manhattan-level square footage (not even close). But newer apartments in metro Atlanta are a little cozier than older units.

Why it matters: Apartment sizes are shrinking nationally, a reversal in the rental market that saw units get bigger during the early part of the work-from-home era.

By the numbers: The average size of newer Atlanta apartments is 900 square feet, compared to the 2022 national average of 887 square feet, per a new report from listing service RentCafe.

The big picture: Nationwide, newly built apartments shed 30 square feet on average compared to 2021, per the report.

  • That sharp decrease was fueled in part by more studios and one-bedroom apartments entering the market, researchers found, analyzing the 100 metro areas with the most high-density buildings.

Zoom in: Decatur's average new apartments measured in at 881 feet, the smallest in the metro.

  • Builders went bigger around Marietta, where the average square footage in newer units is 1,060 square feet.

Intrigue: The average size of an apartment in 12Hundred Studios, an affordable housing development in Hunter Hills that opened in 2022, is 250 square feet, Urbanize reports.

What's happening: In 2020 and 2021, demand for more space resulted in larger unit configurations, RentCafe analyst Adina Dragos tells Axios.

  • "Fast forward to 2022, the demand for more apartments prompted developers to accommodate more units in their projects," Dragos says.
  • Case in point: 57% of apartments completed last year were small units — defined by RentCafe as studios and one-bedrooms — across the U.S.

Of note: At the local level, researchers considered new apartments those units built between 2013 and 2022.

What we're watching: Apartments under construction. As the market keeps fluctuating post-pandemic, their size could signal whether the trend of smaller rentals will stick.


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