10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Self Storage

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Self storage has been the fastest growing sector of commercial real estate for the past 35 years and has been considered "recession resistant" by Wall Street analysts. Here are 10 things that you are probably not aware of about the self storage industry. 

self storage facts











1. 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 35 years.


2. There are approximately 59,500 self storage facilities worldwide; there are more than 3,000 in Canada and more than 1,000 in Australia.


3. Total self storage rentable space in the US is now 2.3 billion square feet. 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).

4. At the end of 1984 there were 6,601 facilities with 289.7 million square feet of rentable self storage in the U.S. At end of 2012, there are approximately 48,500 "primary" self storage facilities representing 2.32 billion square feet.

5. Nationally, at the end 2012 all self storage facilities employed more than 172,000 persons, or an average of 3.5 employees per facility.

6. There is a total U.S. self storage space capacity of about 21 sq.ft. per American household.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.


10. 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)


Source: Self Storage Association