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Which Manhattan Neighborhood Has The Smallest Studios?

This week, real estate appraiser, Curbed graph guru, blogger, and podcaster Jonathan Miller looks at—what else?—the prevalence of micro apartments in Manhattan.

Although I'm often a bit macro in this column, it's Micro Week at Curbed. So I thought I would rank Manhattan neighborhoods by the average square footage of their studio apartments based on all the closed sales of 2014. The results are in: if you want a plethora of small apartments, look uptown. On both the East and West Sides above 96th Street, from Morningside Heights and the Upper East Side to Harlem and Inwood, the average studio clocks in at under 500 square feet. By contrast, downtown, in areas like Soho, Tribeca, Battery Park City, and the Financial District, studios are larger. That makes sense for neighborhoods where buildings were converted from industrial or other used (like in the former) and for areas where the housing stock is relatively new (the latter).

For the second chart, I ranked the areas we track by the percentage difference between the average studio square footage and the area's overall average square footage—which includes all unit sizes—to show where small apartments tend to be more of an outlier.

The data show that small apartments are significantly smaller than their neighboring units in the ritziest parts of the Upper East Side—Park and Fifth Avenues—as well as simply all over the east side of Manhattan. (Rosario Candela's prewar floorplans are the opposite of micro, so this makes sense.)

The national trend towards creating more micro-apartments in major urban markets is catching on, but I've got to think that Manhattan was the birthplace. After all, think of the Lower East Side's tenements—they've already existed in Manhattan for more than 100 years.
· Miller Samuel [official]
· Three Cents Worth archive [Curbed]
· Micro Week archive [Curbed]