Sep 7, 2022 - Business

Self-storage rates are rising

Illustration of a self-storage unit with boxes creating an upwards bar chart.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Life is all about "trying to find a place for your stuff," comedian George Carlin once declared.

  • There's a whole industry dedicated to it, after all — but it's getting more expensive.

What's happening: Monthly rents for self-storage space have risen to record highs over the past three years, but Columbus renters are still getting a bargain, per a report from commercial real estate site Yardi Matrix.

By the numbers: Rent for a 10-by-10-foot unit here now averages $108 per month — lower than the $140 national average and all 30 metro areas in the report.

  • Local prices rose 1% for climate-controlled units and 4% for non-climate-controlled units between July 2021-2022.
  • Columbus also ranked No. 7 for new storage unit construction during that time.
Data: Yardi Matrix; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Yardi Matrix; Chart: Axios Visuals

Driving the news: Rates are soaring in cities that attracted more remote workers during the pandemic, especially in the southeast and Florida.

  • Demand for storage skyrocketed as people cleaned out their homes — and investors noticed.
  • They started buying up units and building new facilities as fast as they could, while jacking up rates.

What they're saying: "Since everybody's on a month-to-month lease, on 30 days' notice you can raise the rent by any amount you want," self-storage investor Nick Huber says in a popular tutorial.

What we're watching: After several quarters of crazy growth, the rise in rental rates was more moderate nationwide from June to July this year, per the report.

  • In Columbus, the rate didn't budge from month to month — a good sign for renters.

💭 Alissa's thought bubble: There are three self-storage businesses on a two-mile stretch of my street. Apparently that's not enough, because a fourth is opening any day now.

  • Columbus, you've got a lot of stuff.
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