Average Apartment Size is Shrinking

January 09, 2013

chicago real estate apartments

In October, we reported that the average home size is decreasing by almost 300 square feet, and apparently this downsizing trend extends to apartments, too. The average size of a new apartment is now 982 square feet or less, according to Multifamily Executive. Apartment size has been on the decline since the early 2000s, when average square footage was more than 1,000 square feet.

The main reason for the decline is that developers are trying to make apartments more affordable and more appealing to “echo boomers” and Gen Yers, who often want to live in the center of the city but who don’t always have the money for spacious two or three bedroom apartments.

Some West Coast developers are even experimenting with the creation of micro-unit apartments that offer only 220 square feet of livable space. Micro-apartments are already a trend in cities such as Paris and Tokyo, and it will certainly be interesting to see if this trend catches on in Chicago.

Many apartment communities are also offering high-quality amenities, such as large fitness and entertainment centers in order to make up for smaller square-footage in the apartments and to attract the younger demographic of today’s  renters.

More than 4,700 new apartments are expected to be built in downtown Chicago over the next two years, and most of the construction will take place in neighborhoods that are popular with young professionals such as the Gold Coast and Old Town, so there is no doubt we will be seeing many of these trends in Chicago.

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