Mar 20, 2023 - Real Estate

Nashville apartments are getting smaller

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

It isn't your imagination. Nashville apartments are shrinking, and they're smaller than the national average, according to a new report from the rental listing service RentCafe.

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

Zoom in: The average size of newer Nashville apartments is 836 square feet, 6% smaller than the 2022 national average of 887 square feet, per the report.

  • At the local level, researchers considered new apartments to be units built between 2013 and 2022.
  • The average size of all of our apartments, older units included, is a roomier 883 square feet.

The intrigue: Knoxville is bucking the trend, with apartments there getting bigger over time.

  • The new apartments in Tennessee's flagship college town are among the biggest in the country, averaging 1,075 square feet — a whopping 21% above the national average.

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.

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 post-pandemic, their size could signal whether the trend of smaller rentals will stick.


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