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Is America Obsessed with Self Storage?

May 15 2015

rsz_2d1b0faeb46The American self storage industry is booming. It has been named one of the fastest-growing sectors of the United States commercial real estate industry over the period of the last 38 years.

No mean feat for a relatively new concept, the first modern self-storage facilities opened in the 1960s. Considered by Wall Street analysts to be “recession resistant” based on its performance since the economic recession of September, 2008, this industry appears rocks solid.

In the US

Here are some interesting facts about the scale of this industry in the US:

  • The United States has 2.3 BILLION square feet of self storage space.
  • 10.85 million households currently rents a self storage unit (nearly one in 10!)
  • There are 48,500 primary (primary meaning that self storage is the primary source of business revenue) self storage facilities in America, while another 4,000 are secondary facilities.
  • The number of self-storage facilities more than doubled between 1998 and 2012 in the US with the Self Storage Association claiming that it is now physically possible that every American could stand – all at the same time – under the total canopy of self-storage roofing!
  • There is more than seven square feet of self storage for every man, woman and child in the country!
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Occupancy of self storage units as of 2014 was at 88.1%.

Source: Self Storage Association


In Ireland

How does the self-storage industry compare in Ireland…

  • There are 25 established self storage facilities.
  • There is currently over 80,000 square metres of rentable storage space, with 69% occupancy of these units at present.
  • At 0.017sqm of self storage per person, we are a little behind the US who are at 0.7sqm per person!

We are, however, above many of the EU averages when it comes to storage units per million population and other parameters, so it looks like the trend is catching on here!

Will the Irish people become as obsessed with storage as they are in the US? Seems like a safe bet!

Source: FEDESSA (Federation of European Self Storage Associations)