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This village is home to the tiniest apartments in the US

Sarah Paynter
Reporter

The whole seven-block village of Ferrelview is about the size of New York City’s major transit hub Grand Central Terminal.

With 800 residents, the 0.11-square-mile Missouri town has free gun locks at City Hall and an 11 p.m. curfew for teenagers under 17. It is the last place you might expect to be dominated by cramped rental apartments, more likely associated with dense cities like New York and San Francisco.

But Ferrelview, which is just about 4 miles outside the Kansas City International Airport, has a new claim to fame: It is home to the tiniest studio apartments in the country. It also ranks No. 3 in the nation for smallest one-bedrooms, according to a new Apartment Guide analysis of all U.S. cities where the company lists apartments for rent.

A "micro-unit" at the Museum of the City of New York is pictured in New York, N.Y. in this January 2013 photo. Photo credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

The average studio apartments in the village are sized a bit larger than a school bus, at 342 square-feet, while one-bedrooms average 588 square feet — smaller than most subway cars.

Behind Ferrelview, the nation’s second smallest studios averaged at 345 square feet and they can be found in Shreveport, Louisiana. Ferrelview’s one-bedrooms ranked behind Iowa City’s 549-square-foot one-bedroom average and East Lansing, Michigan’s 578-square-foot average.

New York City, meanwhile, ranked No. 7 for smallest studios, measuring at an average 444 square feet, and No. 30 for one-bedrooms, at a 666-square-foot average. San Francisco ranked No. 49 for studios, and it didn’t even make the top 50 list for tiny one-bedrooms.

#

Smallest Studios

Square Feet

Average Rent

Smallest One-Bedrooms

Square Feet

Average Rent

1

Ferrelview, MO

342

$445

Iowa City, IA

549

$945

2

Shreveport, LA

345

$745

East Lansing, MI

578

$773

3

Tucson, AZ

397

$618

Ferrelview, MO

588

$571

4

Las Vegas, NV

421

$948

Clute, TX

591

$713

5

Albuquerque, NM

422

$790

Brooklyn, NY

593

$3,115

6

Grand Rapids, MI

444

$1,020

Metairie, LA

601

$881

7

New York, NY

444

$3,424

Texarkana, AR

605

$722

8

Burbank, CA

459

$2,167

Murray, UT

606

$1,251

9

Quincy, MA

466

$2,017

Bentonville, AT

616

$822

10

Phoenix, AZ

473

$1,007

Tucson, AZ

616

$814

Data provided by Apartment Guide

Ferrelview is a hub for singles, commuters

The tiny apartments have made Ferrelview a haven for singles. More than 40% of Ferrelview adults have never been married, whereas only 30% in the state of Missouri have never been married.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Ferrelview draws a lot of young people — the village’s median age is 39.2, not far from the state average of 38.4 and U.S. average age of 37.8, U.S. Census Bureau data shows.

Over one-fifth of Ferrelview adults are divorced, almost double the state average, and more than one-tenth of Ferrelview residents are widowed, compared to 6.4% in Missouri. Only 25% of adults in the village are married.

“We offer small, affordable apartments, which can be a draw for people getting divorced,” said Tina Jackson, co-owner of Unicorn Apartments, the town’s biggest rental complex boasting 152 of Ferrelview’s less-than-300 rental units.

Apartments in town are pretty cheap

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, less than 6% of residents paid over $1,000 in monthly rent in 2017. The average monthly rent for studios is $445, $300 cheaper than studios in Shreveport, Louisiana, the runner-up for the tiniest studio.

“The average rent in Ferrelview is about half of what it would be on a national average basis, so that certainly would make it attractive,” said Leo Sebus, a RE/MAX Results agent in Ferrelview’s Platte County.

More than 40% of Ferrelview residents live in studios or one-bedroom apartments.

And one-bedrooms in Ferrelview cost only $571 a month on average, well below prices for one-bedrooms in Iowa City, at $945 per month on average, according to the Apartment Guide study. Iowa City holds the title of being home to the smallest one-bedrooms in the U.S.

The Unicorn Apartments, with its 246-square-foot efficiency studios, play a big part in this small village’s mini-apartment ranking. Anderson House, the other large rental apartment complex in Ferrelview, offers 108 rental units, according to Redfin. One-bedrooms are 642 square feet and ask $750 a month, according to Anderson House’s website.

In 2017, about 65% of Ferrelview residents were renters, while elsewhere in Missouri, only 33% rented, according to census data.

Ferrelview also draws commuters who work in Kansas City, less than half an hour away, and people who work at the Kansas City International Airport, said Jackson.

“The city has encroached out this way, so you still have everything, but it’s still a small town,” said Jackson.

Sarah Paynter is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @sarahapaynter

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