- The self storage industry has been one of the fastest-growing
sectors of the United States commercial real estate industry over
the period of the last 40 years
- There are now over 48,500 “primary” self storage facilities in the
United States as of year-end 2014; another 4,000 are “secondary”
facilities (“primary” means that self storage is the “primary”
source of business revenue – US Census Bureau)
- There are approximately 60,000 self storage facilities worldwide
as of Q2 – 2015; there are more than 3,000 in Canada and more
than 1,000 in Australia.
- Total self storage rentable space in the US is roughly 2.5 billion
square feet [more than 210 million square meters]. That figure
represents more than 78 square miles of rentable self storage
space, under roof – or an area well more than 3 times the size of
Manhattan Island (NY)
- U.S. self storage facilities pay a total of more than $3.25 billion in
property taxes to local government jurisdictions.
- The distribution of U.S. self storage facilities (Q2-2015) is as
follows: 32% urban, 52% suburban and 16% rural.
- The average revenue per square foot varies from facility to
facility; however, here are the data for Q2 2015: $1.25 PSF for a
non-climate controlled 10 x 10 unit and $1.60 PSF for a climate
controlled 10 x 10 unit.
- Occupancy rates for self storage facilities as of Q2-2015 were
90% (percentage of units rented per facility) up from 86.8% at
- In fact, about 9.5% of all American households currently rent a
self storage unit (10.85 million of the 113.3 million US HHs in
2013; that has increased from 1 in 17 US HHs (6%) in 1995 (18
- U.S. self storage facilities employed more than 170,000 persons,
or an average of 3.5 employees per facility.
- The average (mean) size of a “primary” self storage facility in the
US is approximately 56,900 square feet.
- Of over 10,000 facilities surveyed, approximately 6,000 are single-
story facilities and approximately 4,000 are multi-story facilities.
- Of over 10,000 facilities surveyed, the mean facility size is 546
units and the median facility size is 517 units.
- Of over 10,000 facilities surveyed, 18.7% offer Boat / RV parking
- Of over 10,000 facilities surveyed, 31% offer truck rental.
- The top-6 self storage companies, including 5 real estate
investment trusts (Public Storage, Extra Space, National Storage
Affiliates Trust, LifeStorage and CubeSmart) plus U-Haul (a public
company / non-REIT), own, operate and/or manage some 5,800
self storage facilities, or about 12% of all US facilities.
- In addition to the public companies in the industry (above), there
are more than 150 privately held firms that own and operate 10
or more self storage facilities. In addition, there are some 4,000
firms that own and operate from 2-9 self storage facilities. Lastly,
there are more than 26,000 firms that own and operate just one
- There is a total U.S. self storage space capacity of about 21 sq. ft.
per American household.
- There is 7.3 sq. ft. of self storage space for every man, woman and
child in the nation; thus, it is physically possible that every
American could stand – all at the same time – under the total
canopy of self storage roofing.
- About 13% of all self storage renters say they will rent for less
than 3 months; 18% for 3-6 months; 18% for 7-12 months; 22%
for 1-2 years; and 30% for more than 2 years.
- Some 68% of all self storage renters live in a single-family
household; 27% live in an apartment or condo.
- Some 65% of all self storage renters have a garage but still rent a
unit; 47% have an attic in their home; and 33% have a basement.
- Some 47% of all self storage renters have an annual household
income of less than $50,000 per year; 63% have an annual
household income of less than $75,000 per year.
- More than 1.5 million self storage units nationwide are rented to
military personnel (6% of all units); however, in communities
adjacent to domestic US military bases, military occupancy can be
from 20% to 95% of all rented units.
- Self Storage operators value military personnel as self storage
customers and traditionally extend special incentives and
discounts to those with a valid military ID card, such as: 10%-30%
discounts off rental rates, free months of rent, gift certificates,
free use of moving truck, "one-dollar move-ins," no rent increases
while deployed overseas, waiver of security deposits,
administration fees, etc.
- It took the self storage industry more than 25 years to build its
first billion square feet of space; it added the second billion
square feet in just 8 years (1998-2005).
- 83.9% of all US counties (or 2,634 out of 3,141) have at least one
"primary" self storage facility.
- Key drivers impacting the explosive performance in self-storage
include the facts that there is little need for tenant improvements or
paying lease commissions, which results in a higher net rental
income than other commercial alternatives. Low maintenance
requirements also contribute to an increased bottom line in
performance. Self-storage has a low level of revenue volatility
meaning self-storage is generally consistent regardless of economic
is a prime time for entry into the self-storage business. Now
is the time to take advantage of one of real estate’s greatest investment returns. Now
is the time to join