Apartments in New York City.

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A new report on average rents in major cities coast to coast shows how the 30 most populous American metropolises size up when it comes to giving tenants more space for their buck.

The analysis, presented by RentCafe, calculated the average apartment size in each city and compared it to the average rent to compile a list of the typical price per square foot that residents could expect. The report then used a baseline of $1,500 per month to arrive at how much space a tenant would get in various cities.

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From 271 square feet in New York City to 1,948 square feet in Memphis, renters’ apartments varied greatly with a trend toward smaller, more expensive apartments on the West Coast and in the Northeast and larger units in the South, Midwest and Southwestern regions, RentCafe reported.


Based on the data, a theoretical Manhattan studio could fit inside the living room of a four-bedroom Memphis home that a tenant could live in for the same $1,500 monthly rent. The study also showed that the Memphis home would have seven times the space of the equally priced New York apartment.

To arrive at more average results, the study then compared two cities closer to the middle of the data pool: Boston and Indianapolis.

In Boston, RentCafe found a listing that showed that $1,600 could rent a new 513-square-foot studio with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, while an Indianapolis listing offered a three-bedroom townhome with 1,800 square feet and a 400-square-foot enclosed patio for the same amount.

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RentCafe compiled the report by analyzing more than 50 units in each of the 30 largest U.S. cities using data provided byYardi Matrix, which researches and reports on multifamily properties across 121 markets in the U.S.

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