The Hard Numbers Behind the Self-Storage Explosion

Posted in: I'm a Mover, Moving Industry News

NEWS FLASH!! The self-storage business is BOOMING!!

Okay, this is hardly news to anyone in or around the moving industry. Still, the latest numbers are staggering, which means a lot of you out there are probably noticing the trend in your day-to-day operations.

SpareFoot recently reported the construction of new storage facilities exceeded $1.9 billion in 2016. That’s a lot of money spent to store a lot of stuff. But that was just a warm-up. In only the first eight months of 2017, self-storage construction surpassed $2.27 billion – which translates into over three billion dollars worth of new self-storage units being built this year alone.

So what does a few billion dollars of storage look like? Simply Self Storage quotes Statistic Brain in telling us that, as of September 2016, there were 2.3 billion square feet of storage space in the U.S. “That’s equal to 82,5 square miles,” they say, which is about the size of Las Vegas.

With all the construction happening this year, that total area will probably stretch halfway to the Hoover Dam.

Meanwhile, there are 164 projects in some stage of development totaling 9 million new square feet of space in the Dallas area alone. This is a bit of a head-scratcher, since Dallas, according to this Self Storage Construction and Development Analysis, has already reached over-supplied status in half of its districts. (Interestingly, so has Vegas.)

More eyebrow-raising is the fact that the five metro areas seeing the most development in 2017 – Dallas, Miami, New York, Houston, Atlanta – account for a whopping 40% of all construction happening nationwide. With four of these five cities considered over-supplied (Miami is the only one not yet statistically saturated), you might start to wonder, “Why all the new facilities?”

Ben Vestal, who authored the abovementioned analysis, says in his introduction that there are still areas within these over-supplied markets that are ripe for successful new projects.

Perhaps time – and next year’s reports – will tell us where the recent self-storage building binge is taking us.

If you’d like to know more regarding the self-storage industry – real juicy stuff, like growth patterns across the US over decades, costs and operating expenses for a facility – check out this comprehensive report by the Self-Storage Association.

But despite all the construction and all the information, one thing remains constant: At the core of the industry are the people who need space for their stuff. People who may be our customers. Or maybe potential customers. If you run a moving company, it pays to know where your local storage facilities are – and who is running them.

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