Sizable difference

Dallas homes are getting bigger while apartments shrink, new report shows

Dallas homes are getting bigger while apartments shrink, report shows

5 Mockingbird apartments in Dallas
Dallas apartment dwellers are living in less space. Photo courtesy of 5 Mockingbird

People in Dallas are living large — in homes, that is. If they're living in apartments, they might be feeling cramped.

Data released last month by StorageCafé, a self-storage marketplace, shows that Dallas takes the crown for the largest newly built single-family houses in Texas, at an average of 3,108 square feet in 2019, up from 2,936 in 2010. The 2019 figure puts Dallas fifth in the ranking of the 20 largest U.S. cities.

However, newly built apartments in Dallas are measuring at 908 square feet in 2019, 80 square feet less than in 2010. Still, somehow, Dallas has the seventh largest newly built apartments in the U.S. 

The survey shows that nationwide, both apartment dwellers and homebuyers might just be choosing to live in less space.

"According to the latest available US Census data, the average size of single family homes built in the US was trending upwards from 2010 until 2017, when sizes hit a peak of 2,643 square feet. Since then, single family homes began decreasing in size, with homes built in 2019 averaging 2,611 square feet," StorageCafe says.

However, they point out, when looking at the entire period from 2010 to 2019, new single family homes still gained 143 square feet — the size of an average bedroom.

The average home size stands at around 2,128 square feet, according to the Census, which makes American homes among the biggest in the world, StorageCafe says.

The opposite trend is happening with apartments in the U.S. They are "decreasing by almost 90 square feet over the last decade, from an average size of 1,245 square feet in 2010 to 1,156 in 2019," the report says. "In other words, newer apartments were built with less space — and that loss is equal to a small bedroom or a kitchen."

Fort Worth has the third largest newly built apartments in the U.S., at 921 square feet in 2019. That’s down from 964 in 2010.

But Fort Worth has the smallest newly built homes among Texas’ major cities, at an average of 2,350 in 2019, up from 2,340 in 2010. Nationally, Fort Worth ranks 15th for home size among the top 20.

Elsewhere in Texas:

  • With an average of 894 square feet, Austin has the smallest newly built apartments among Texas’ major cities (down from 948 square feet in 2010). The Capital City also has the 11th smallest apartments among the 20 biggest U.S. metros (or the ninth largest, depending on how you read it). The city checks in with an average of 2,512 square feet for newly built homes in 2019 — down from 2,637 in 2010. 
  • San Antonio has similar numbers to Austin, clocking in at average of 894 square feet. In 2010, an Alamo City apartment averaged 970 square feet. In San Antonio, the average size of a newly built home stood at 2,384 square feet in 2019, up from 2,332 in 2010.
  • By comparison, at 937 square feet, Houston has the second largest newly built apartments among the country’s 20 biggest cities and the largest in Texas. But that number is still down from 996 square feet in 2010. Houston's newly built homes went from 2,423 square feet in 2010 to 2,593 square feet in 2019. 

Where are the largest newly built houses in major cities? That honor goes to Chicago, at an average of 3,330 square feet in 2019, up from 2,414 square feet in 2010.

And nationally, Jacksonville, Florida, has the largest newly built apartments with an average size of 987 square feet in 2019.