According to the Self Storage Association, in 2013, it’s estimated that the self-storage industry in the United States generated more than $24 billion in annual revenue. Not only that, but the self-storage industry has been the fastest growing segment of the commercial real estate industry over the last 40 years, and has been called “recession-resistant” by the Wall Street Journal. Modern storage facilities grew slowly throughout the 1990s, but demand began outpacing supply, and this caused a rush of new self-storage facilities. From 2000 to 2005 alone, over 3,000 new facilities were built every year! By the end of 2013, there were approximately 59,500 self-storage facilities worldwide. Over 52,500 of those facilities are located in the United States. Canada has 3000 facilities, and both the UK and Australia have 1,000 facilities each. The 2013 occupancy rate was 87.4%, which was up 4% from 2012.
The demand for self-storage in the United States has been rising because of the increase in people moving. According to the U.S. Census, around 40 million people move per year as a result of lifestyle changes, such as marriage, divorce, retirement, expanding families, etc. It’s estimated that almost 9% of all American households currently rent a self-storage unit- that’s over 10 million households! 30% of these households will rent their self-storage unit for two years or longer; most of these households even have basements, attics, and garages for storage, too!
Worldwide, the United Kingdom has seen an increase in self-storage unit rental, because the facilities provide a popular base for those running a small business. The UK’s 1,000 self-storage facilities have a combined floor space of around 30 million square feet. This may seem like a lot, but in the United States, total rent-able self-storage space is around 2.3 billion square feet! That represents 78 miles of self-storage space!
It’s no doubt that the 21st century will continue to see growth in the self-storage industry. The largest growth markets are seen in Asian countries and more recently, South America. The look and feel of the Asian storage facilities are similar to your standard storage facility, but the cost of renting a unit is much higher than it is in the United States. In the Latin markets, Brazil has become a focus for self-storage operators in the past year. There is a growing demand for storage, limited competition within the industry in the country, and the majority of current operators are small single-store operators.
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