1. FRESNO, CA: GROWING AND THRIVING Fresno is the economic hub of the fertile San Joa- quin Valley, and it experienced a 7.46 percent population increase from 2010 to 2019. The city’s remarkable 20.74 percent average street rate improvement, going from $84 in 2017 to $102 in 2020 for a standard unit, indicates that self-storage is a thriving part of the local economy. The city’s 8.66 square feet per capita in 2020 is somewhat higher the national average. There are around 50 stor- age facilities in and around Fresno. 2020’s market activity comprised the sales of two facilities in the city’s north- westerly districts for a total of $15.94M and a combined square footage of 164,327. 2. EL PASO, TX: SUN CITY SHINES Standard storage unit rents in this West Texas city saw a 15.14 percent rise from $72 in 2017 to $83 in 2020. The diverse economy here includes oil and gas, manufactur- ing and service industries, and although the influx of new - comers has only been moderate — 5.02 percent between 2010 and 2019 — Texas’s increasing status as a place to do all kinds of business may be having an effect in El Paso. The 6.14 square feet of storage per person here, lower than the national average, may indicate that the local self-storage sector has capacity for growth. There are many facilities spread out to the east and northwest of the city center, including a 24,225-square-foot property on Pellicano Drive that was sold in March 2020. 3. LAS VEGAS, NV: CONSIDERED A GOOD BET FOR STORAGE Las Vegas has a well-developed self-storage sector. Fears of oversaturation may be assuaged by a 13.31 per- cent street rate increase for standard units from $94 in 2017 to $106 in 2020. And confidence is also seen in the amount of new square footage currently under construc- tion or planned in the metro area, representing 14.4 per- cent of the total current inventory, higher than in nearly all other large US metros. The city’s population grew 11.57 percent from 2010 to 2019, boosting the self-stor- age sector. The city of Las Vegas offers an enormous 19.12 square feet of storage per person, though it should be noted that the larger metro area offers less than half that amount. No less than five storage facilities changed hands in 2020, for a total of $64.28M.

4. TUCSON, AZ: THE OLD PUEBLO ATTRACTS NEW ENTHUSIASTS Arizona’s second city attracts artists, among others, and in September 2020 one enterprising company allocat- ed space to them at its storage facility in the suburb of Oro Valley. As with other places in the Southwest, many ‘snowbirds’ come here in winter for the advantageous climate. Street rates for standard storage units in Tucson rose 11.68 percent from $87 in 2017 to $97 in 2020, while inventory increased slightly from 10.65 to 10.84 square feet per capita. There are approaching 100 storage facili- ties in Tucson and the surrounding area, with four of them changing hands in 2020, representing a combined total of 215,871 square feet. 5. ALBUQUERQUE, NM: A FINE CLIMATE ALL ROUND Duke City has a growing reputation with incomers for its distinctive lifestyle, pleasant climate, low house prices, and the beauty of its surrounding scenery. Getting on for 100 facilities within the city limits provide them with stor- age, and the street rate for a standard locker went from $91 in 2017 to $98 in 2020, an increase of 8.21 percent. The inventory also grew during that period, from 8.13 to 8.89 square feet per person, a 9.50 percent increase since 2017 and somewhat more than the national aver- age though not enough to depress rents. Market activity in 2020 consisted of two transactions for a total square footage of 84,682. Anyone thinking of investing in the US self-storage sector needs to have confidence in the enduring demand for it among the population. They can find this by pin - pointing markets where street rates have been consis- tently holding up, or increasing, even through challeng- ing times. Of late, some of the nation’s Southwestern cities have been most impressive in this regard, with rents trending upwards. Inventory levels sometimes lag behind demand and sometimes over-reach it. But whether investors wishing to build storage facilities catch the wave at exactly the right time or not, they can be reassured that the indus- try has an inherent flexibility and durability, finding new ways to provide storage for communities and adapting to clients’ needs. Self-storage has become an important element in the lives of many Americans, and that isn’t changing any time soon.

Francis Chantree is a senior editor and writer for US-based self-storage search portal STORAGECafé. He has extensive experience writing for a variety of publications about issues related to economics, lifestyle, and the real estate industry. Francis can be reached at


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