Queens apartments have the smallest average size among all boroughs, third-smallest in country: report

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The average size of apartments in Queens was the smallest among all New York City boroughs in 2023, as well as the third-smallest among cities in the United States, according to a report by the real estate firm RentCafe.

At 692 square feet, Queens boasts slightly smaller apartments on average than Brooklyn’s 712 square feet. Among major U.S. cities, only Seattle and Portland have smaller averages, at 661 and 685 square feet respectively.

Compared to the historical average square footage of rentals in Queens, the borough had a decrease of 32 square feet over the last ten years, marking a 4.4% decline. Over the same period of time, Brooklyn had a 21 square feet decrease for a 2.9% decline.

In addition to Queens and Brooklyn, which placed third and fourth among the smallest average apartment sizes in the country, a third New York City borough, Manhattan, was found within the top ten, placing sixth at 737 square feet. However, unlike Queens and Brooklyn, Manhattan actually increased in square footage over the last decade. Apartments there grew 2.2% in the last ten years, adding 16 square feet to the average size of apartments there.

Chart by RentCafe

The national average size of apartments has gone down over the last decade, from 928 square feet in 2014 to 916 square feet in 2023. However, the new national average is more in line with what has been seen each year after the average plummeted from 918 square feet in 2021 to 889 square feet in 2022.

One of the main factors for this 27-square-foot rebound is an increase in two-bedroom and three-bedroom rentals on the market. This increase was the result of developers aiming to provide more much-needed space for renters after there was a surge in smaller units built in 2022. The average size of new two-bedroom apartments went up over the last decade from 1,092 square feet in 2014 to 1,099 square feet in 2023. Three-bedroom units had an even larger jump, from 1,328 square feet in 2014 to 1,347 square feet in 2023.