DC's New Apartments Are Getting Smaller

  • June 6th 2014

by Lark Turner

DC's New Apartments Are Getting Smaller: Figure 1
The layout of a 377 square-foot unit at The Harper.

The average size of new class A apartments in DC’s high rises fell 14 percent between 2000 and 2013, according to data from Delta Associates.

The data was presented Thursday night at a panel on housing affordability at Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies. Matthew Robinson, a principal at MRP Realty, showed the data as part of a conversation on how shrinking unit sizes can make apartments cheaper.

In 2000, new class A units in DC high rises averaged 878 square feet. By 2010, that number fell to 851. And by 2013 it was down to 771 square feet.

“In each unit category, the studios and one-bedrooms are getting smaller and the two-bedrooms are getting smaller and more compact,” Robinson told UrbanTurf.

A good example of this trend is The Harper, a new building on 14th Street composed solely of one-beds, junior one-beds and studios. The Harper at 1919 14th Street (map), which has movable islands to maximize space, won’t comment on the size of its smallest rentals, but an availability page with some square footage listed shows that at least some of the building’s junior one-bedrooms clock in at under 400 square feet.

The other factor influencing apartment size is the growing proportion of studios and one-bedrooms in new developments, Robinson said.

“Now you’re building 25-35 percent two-beds and the rest studios and one-bedrooms,” he said. “It’s really compounding to get the average unit sizes smaller and smaller.”

Whether or not the trend toward smaller units is currently making apartments more affordable is another question. That 377-square-foot apartment at the Harper? It rents for about $2,000 a month. However, there appears to be quite a demand: the building is reportedly 80 percent leased.

See other articles related to: affordability, micro units, micro-units, microunits

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dcs_new_apartments_are_getting_smaller/8582.

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