Apartment Size in New York City: Manhattan Rentals Are Getting Roomier

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If you’re looking for an apartment for rent in the Big Apple, you might be wondering about the typical apartment size in New York City. As you might expect, busy urban hubs don’t excel when it comes to generous living spaces. However, if we look at new apartments in the heart of New York City and those built more than a decade ago, we see a surprising difference. Newer rentals are larger than older units, which means you have better chances of finding something modern and spacious enough in this bustling city than you did back in 2014.

Let’s explore the average size of new apartments in the Big Apple’s most popular boroughs — Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

Manhattan

If you’re searching for an apartment for rent in New York City and space is a top priority for you, head to iconic Manhattan. Why? Because the average size of new apartments (built between 2014 and 2023) here is 737 square feet. This is 16 square feet more than the typical rentals that opened their doors before 2014. This difference in size may not seem significant, but in a city where every square foot counts, it can make a noticeable impact on your living space.

New York City. Manhattan downtown skyline skyscrapers at sunset.

Also, Manhattan is the epitome of big city life. Its narrow streets, lined with skyscrapers, are peppered with world-class restaurants, and endless entertainment options. As a renter in Manhattan, you’ll have access to all of these amenities right at your doorstep. While the apartment size in Manhattan may be smaller compared to outer boroughs or more suburban locations, the convenience and excitement of living in the heart of the city often outweigh the need for extra space.

Brooklyn

If we go from Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge, rentals get smaller. Specifically, the average apartment size in Brooklyn is 712 square feet for new units. As opposed to apartments in Manhattan, Brooklyn rentals shrank by 21 square feet in the last 10 years.

An aerial view of Brooklyn, NY, on a beautiful day with blue skies and white clouds. The New York City skyline is in the background featuring the Freedom Tower and lower Manhattan.

However, Brooklyn has become increasingly popular among renters in recent years, thanks to its unique blend of urban and residential neighborhoods. From the trendy streets of Williamsburg to the historic brownstones of Brooklyn Heights, there’s a neighborhood to suit every lifestyle. Plus, as a renter in Brooklyn, you’ll enjoy a strong sense of community and access to a wide range of cultural attractions, parks, and local businesses.

Queens

In the largest of New York City’s boroughs, the average size of a new apartment is 692 square feet. Here too, the typical unit shed 32 square feet in the last 10 years from a more generous 724 square feet. While this difference in size is more significant than in the other boroughs, there are still major benefits of living in Queens.

The Queensborough Bridge across the East River between the Manhattan and Long Island City in the borough of Queens, NY.

Here, you’ll find a diverse range of neighborhoods, from the bustling streets of Astoria to the quiet residential areas of Forest Hills. As a renter in Queens, you’ll enjoy more space for your money compared to Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as easy access to public transportation and a variety of cultural attractions, including museums, parks, and ethnic restaurants.

So, if you’re apartment hunting and wondering about apartment size in New York City, know that the typical rental here offers around 700 square feet. Still, while Manhattan offers the excitement of city life, Brooklyn provides a unique blend of urban and residential living, and Queens offers more space for your money. By understanding the differences in apartment sizes across the boroughs, you can make an informed decision about what is best for you and your lifestyle preferences.

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Alexandra Both is a senior creative writer with RentCafe. She has more than six years of real estate writing experience as a senior editor with Commercial Property Executive and Multi-Housing News. She is a seasoned journalist, who has previously worked in print, online and broadcast media. Alexandra has a B.A. in Journalism and an M.A. in Community Development.

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