Average sizes of multifamily units are trending down.
Photo courtesy NAHB

The average per unit square footage for multifamily housing construction starts was 1,119 ft for 3Q 2015, down from 1,247 ft (the post-recession high set earlier this year). According to Robert DIetz, the current quarterly average is only 4%higher than the post-recession low. 

Market mix is viewed as the key factor behind this change in multifamily average size:

Renters tend toward smaller units than owner-occupiers. In 2012, for example, the median size of all multifamily units completed was 1,098 square feet. However, for rental apartments the median was 1,081, while it was a larger 1,466 for for-sale multifamily residences. As the for-sale share of multifamily returns back to historical norms in the years ahead, the size of a typical newly built multifamily housing unit will rise accordingly.

For more information on the 3Q data for multifamily housing, head over to Eye On Housing:

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