The average per unit square footage for multifamily housing construction starts was 1,119 ft for 3Q 2015, down from 1,247 ft (the post-recession high set earlier this year). According to Robert DIetz, the current quarterly average is only 4%higher than the post-recession low.
Market mix is viewed as the key factor behind this change in multifamily average size:
Renters tend toward smaller units than owner-occupiers. In 2012, for example, the median size of all multifamily units completed was 1,098 square feet. However, for rental apartments the median was 1,081, while it was a larger 1,466 for for-sale multifamily residences. As the for-sale share of multifamily returns back to historical norms in the years ahead, the size of a typical newly built multifamily housing unit will rise accordingly.
For more information on the 3Q data for multifamily housing, head over to Eye On Housing: