Big Homes Get Bigger and Apartments Lose Space


Before COVID-19, homes had many roles, but serving as a workspace was niche. Colorado, the top state for working from home pre-pandemic, barely had 7.7% of its population working from home. Now, the new reality requires our homes to double as entertainment and working spaces, with nearly half of the US labor force working from home full-time.

How prepared are American homes for this new reality, space-wise? A StorgeCafe report that looked at home size evolution in the past decade shows that single family homes are generally large enough to respond to the growing need for space. Apartments, however, will make it harder for people to adjust, as space is at a premium in most cities.

On a national average level, apartments lost a bedroom over the last decade, while single family homes gained one.

Here are some interesting findings of StorageCafe research:

  • The McMansion comes in handy for a change as it’s now in line with people’s need for more space. New single family homes built in 2019 have an average of 2,611 square feet, 18% bigger than the US overall inventory.
  • Multi-bedroom homes grew considerably — 43% of the single family homes built in 2019 have 4+ bedrooms, compared to 35% in 2010. The percentage of newly built homes with two bedrooms or fewer decreased from 13% in 2010 to 11% in 2019.
  • Apartments, however, lag behind in responding to this need for more space at home. The average size of an apartment built in 2019 was 1,156 square feet, 90 square feet smaller than those built in 2010.
  • One-bedroom apartments saw an increase in new buildings, from 35% in 2010 to 42% in 2019, while two-bedroom apartments lost ground, from 45% of newly built apartments having two bedrooms in 2010 to 39% in 2019.
  • Among the nation’s largest 20 cities, Chicago saw the highest increase in home sizes. New homes in Chicago are now 916 sq. ft. larger than those built in 2010, and now offer a whopping 3,330 sq. ft. of living space on average.
  • San Francisco experienced the highest increase in new apartment size among the country’s largest 20 cities, adding a significant 107 square feet between 2010 and 2019.

You can find the full study and methodology, as well as what experts are saying about the future of housing in the US, here: