U.S. Self Storage Industry Continues to Expand

The self storage industry in the US has grown tremendously over the decades. And it shows no signs of expanding moving forward. This sector is one of the fastest growing in the real estate market. Based on data from the Self Storage Association, storage space doubled in a period of five years from one billion…

The self storage industry in the US has grown tremendously over the decades. And it shows no signs of expanding moving forward.

This sector is one of the fastest growing in the real estate market. Based on data from the Self Storage Association, storage space doubled in a period of five years from one billion square feet to more than two billion square feet in 2005. Also, more than 8,600 facilities were put up across the US during the peak of the industry from 2004-2005.

The US has an estimated 50,100 facilities which is five times more than what the rest of the world has at only around 8,000, accounting for 86 percent of the total global self storage market. This only indicates that the country has a strong demand for self storage from consumers ranging from students and single people to the married couples and their families.

In 1996, only six percent of households used storage units. In 2007, reports showed nearly one in 10 households renting a self storage unit. This is an increase by 65 percent from the year 1996.

Self storage facilities earn more than other sectors these days. In 2011, their return on investment was higher than other health care, residential, retail, office, timber and lodging resorts at 35.22 percent.

Nearly 5,000 facilities are owned by four of the largest companies in the country. These are CubeSmart, Extra Space, Public Storage, Sovran / Uncle Bob's which recorded high earnings last year. Data in 2011 showed that 27,650 facilities were owned by small business entrepreneurs.

History has it that public storage started in ancient China. The modern self storage, however, were put up at a much later time in the 1960s and more were constructed in the 1990s. During the 90s, the demand larger stronger outpacing the supply leading to rush developments of these facilities. You may be surprised to know that for a period of five years from 2000 to 2005, more than 3,000 new facilities were built every year to keep up with the high demand for storage space.

Facilities in the US are located on both industrial and commercial lots. The total self storage space occupied today is equivalent to three times the size of the entire Manhattan Island.

Unit sizes vary today with the 10 by 5 feet being the most popular. Other sizes available are the five by five feet which is the smallest, 10 by 10 feet, 10 by 20 feet, 15 by 20 feet and 20 by 20 feet. Most units have no windows and lockable by the tenant. Customers can choose between the standard and the climate controlled type which is ideal for storing delicate items. Security systems are in place including door alarms and surveillance cameras.

With lifestyle changes being faced by many people today, these self storage facilities prove to be very useful especially to those who have accumulated a lot of personal items through the years. These rental units have also become more affordable due to a stiff competition among providers.