Mar 15, 2023 - News

New Tampa Bay apartments are roomier than U.S. 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 multifamily buildings of 50 units or more; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

As rent in Tampa Bay continues to rise, our apartments at least have a little extra wiggle room.

What's happening: Newer apartments in Tampa and St. Petersburg are averaging larger in size than those in many cities across the country, per a new report from listing service RentCafe.

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 Tampa apartments is 946 square feet, nearly 7% bigger than the 2022 national average of 887 square feet, according to RentCafe.

  • St. Petersburg apartments have gotten a tad bigger than the national average at 902 square feet.

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

  • That 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 units.

Flashback: In 2020 and 2021, demand for more space resulted in larger unit configurations across the U.S., 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 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 Tampa Bay's trend of roomier rentals will stick.

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