Space Maximization in the Era of Shrinking American Apartments


Statistics show that the average size of newly constructed one-bedroom apartments in 2018 is 757 square feet (70.33 square meters), showing a 5.4% decrease from 2008 apartment sizes of the same kind which averaged 790 square feet (73.39 square meters).

This occurrence is coupled with increasing monthly apartment rental costs in the U.S. which went from $1,348 in September 2016 to $1,468 in February 2020.

Now, how are Americans faring in terms of space maximization during this time? When apartments are decreasing in terms of size but are increasing in cost? We will talk about space maximization trends and how they’ll enable you to use your apartment space efficiently.

Who Occupies American Apartments Today?

In a recent examination conducted by RealPage, over 5 million individual lease transactions based on existing renter statistics like age, income, number of adults in every household, marital status, and the presence and number of kids or pets in each unit.

You may think that the usual renters in the US are twenty-somethings who live downtown with no kids and a job that pays high. You were right when you thought about two things because 29% of apartment dwellers really are in their 20s without children however, this demographic is just career starters with limited incomes working around the difference between their income and rent costs (they’re not low). The difference is pushing these starting out singles to move around and pick apartments on the smaller side in suburban areas.

Right behind these single twenty-something occupants are renters around age 28 living in households with two or more adults, and they account for 21% of apartment occupancy. Similar to the first demographic, they move around quite a lot but go for pricier units. They’re able to do so through combining their incomes.

16% of renters are residents who are in their early 40s and single. This group is examined to be consistent in renewing their expiring leases at least once with their income dancing around $50,000, but they don’t move around as much as younger renters.

Middle-income boomers account for 11% of renters with modest incomes and reside in areas considered retirement hubs. Out of all the demographics we’ve mentioned and will mention in this article, this group has the highest lease renewing rates. Groups occupying less than 10% are moving on-up renters who live near career hubs (8%), working families (6%), young couples (5%), and pet owners (4%).

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How Do They Maximize Their Space?

Apartment renters hunt for apartments that suit their needs for space, location, and comfort. Doing so isn’t easy especially in cities such as New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. While smaller housing is usually cheaper, the burden of thinking where to put their stuff is on top of it. Today’s apartment renters maximize their space by keeping up with the demands and reaping the benefits of digitization and storage ideas.

With the popularity of cloud drives, people are given the chance to get rid of bulks of paperwork which occupy space and typically fade. The rise of digital storage platforms made possession of hard copies of documents obsolete. They also reduce waste and maintain the quality of the print.

Another thing these renters get rid of is unneeded items by donating or disposing of them. Most donations are clothing items.

Efficient storage designs are also gaining popularity because of how they enable people to keep the things they need without compromising space (like hanging bikes and plants on the wall). Storage designs also include painting walls with light colors and making use of natural light.

Apartment dwellers also benefit from technological advancements. Appliances which used to occupy huge spaces now have alternatives occupying less space and are more efficient. A noticeable example of this is the invention of tankless water heaters which heats water based on demand (they’re also called demand-type water heaters) and they don’t need big water storage tanks in doing so.

There are plenty of ways renters with varying characteristics can maximize their space in this era. As rent costs and apartment sizes fluctuate, technology is also keeping up with efficient and space-aware innovations.

What will be the Future of Space Maximization?

Space maximization is essential to creating comfortable living spaces. They can be done from appliance and furniture choice down to wall paint. As apartment sizes decrease, more and more ways to maximize space are being curated. So don’t be worried, there’ll come a time wherein your bed won’t have to take the space they’re taking now and it will be stored inside a wall, creating room and giving you more space in the era of small but expensive apartments.

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