Mar 16, 2023 - Real Estate

New apartments in Austin are smaller than national average

Average size of new apartments
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

New apartments in the Austin area are getting smaller as other Texas cities, like Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, see their average square footage increase.

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 a newer Austin apartment is 884 square feet, 0.3% smaller than the 2022 national average of 887 square feet, per a new report from listing service RentCafe.

  • Meanwhile, other Texas cities are bucking that trend, with new apartments averaging 923 square feet in Houston, 901 square feet in San Antonio and 895 square feet in Dallas.

The big picture: Nationwide, newly built apartments in 2022 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.

Flashback: 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.

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

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