Ohio on a Self Storage Development Spree, Leads the Midwest in New Supply

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  • Ohio leads the Midwest for the largest supply of new self storage space delivered in 2023, roughly 1.7M square feet. It is primed to maintain its top position in 2024 as well with about 1.6M square feet of space scheduled for delivery this year.
  • Columbus was the most active city for self storage construction in Ohio in 2023, with 179K square feet of self storage delivered, followed by Toledo with 154K square feet of new space
  • Most of the state’s estimated construction in 2024 is concentrated around cities close to Columbus, with Powell (157K sq. ft.) and Delaware (114K sq. ft.) standing out for most new projected deliveries.
  • The robust supply level is helping keep rents in check, with 66% of Ohio cities seeing street rate decreases. Overall, a storage unit in Ohio rents for $103/month, down 2% year-over-year.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, cities with low supply have experienced street rate increases, with Heath, OH, coming in first with a 6.7% y-o-y rent growth.

With people seeking alternative ways to deal with rising housing costs, Ohio is betting big on self storage space. The state has seen the addition of over 1.7M rentable square feet of storage space in 2023, roughly 3.3% of its existing inventory. This puts Ohio at the forefront of Midwestern states for self storage deliveries, ahead of Illinois and Michigan, the second and third hot spots in the region for new supply.

Ohio is expected to maintain its growth trajectory with about 1.6M square feet of self storage space projected to be delivered this year across the state. Michigan takes the second spot, with about 1.5M square feet of self storage space slated for delivery in 2024, followed by Missouri, with 1.1M square feet of self storage space to be completed by the end of the year. Both states are undersupplied by industry standards, with Michigan having around 5.9 square feet and Missouri sporting 6.9 square feet of storage space per person.

 

Overall, Ohio is home to almost 52M square feet of self storage, and 15% of them are conversions, double the national average. Over half of the new square footage of self storage added in the last five years (2019-2023) represents conversions. Many of these newly-minted storage facilities were previously either stores, hotels, industrial buildings or homes to small businesses. Instead of sitting vacant, they now provide storage space for people living in smaller homes that can’t hold all of their belongings.

While making strides to respond to the continuing demand for the service, Ohio’s self storage inventory related to population sits at 6.2 square feet per capita, below the national benchmark of 7 square feet per person. This underscores the recent construction levels meant to address the existing demand.

Ohio’s 2023 self storage construction concentrated around undersupplied big cities

Zooming in on the city level, most deliveries in 2023 were registered in some of the largest cities in the state of Ohio, with four cities recording construction above 100K square feet. Undersupply — with most cities registering an inventory per person below 7 square feet — coupled with population gains in some cases are the drivers of development in 2023 in Ohio.

Columbus, OH, the most populous city in the state, also comes first for its self storage construction, seeing its inventory swell by 179K square feet. With only 4.3 square feet of self storage space per person, Columbus is vastly undersupplied by national standards, and new construction is the way to address the gap in demand. The city’s population went up a significant 6% from 2017 to 2022, creating the proper context for new demand for the service.

Toledo, OH, another big city, also has a low inventory of self storage relative to population, standing at 4.5 square feet of self storage per capita. This explains the city’s bumped-up construction activity in 2023, when 154K square feet of self storage space came online, more than double the deliveries in the previous year. About 67K square feet of self storage space was delivered in 2022.

In third place comes Parma, OH, registering close to 131K square feet of self storage space delivered in 2023. Of the top 10 cities for deliveries in 2023, Parma has the lowest self storage supply, only 1.6 square feet per capita.

Central Ohio expected to see bulk of projected construction in 2024 in OH

When it comes to construction in 2024, the Central Ohio area is expected to see the most development activity. Powell, OH, comes first, with close to 157K square feet of self storage slated for delivery in 2024. After a hiatus in construction in 2023, coupled with a low inventory of 3.6 square feet per capita, it is natural for Powell to see a rebound in construction activity in 2024 to respond to existing demand. What’s more, Powell saw an impressive 11% increase in population in the past five years, further fueling demand for self storage.

 

 

In Delaware, OH, new construction for 2024 is also anticipated to reach high volumes, with about 114K square feet of self storage space expected to be delivered for the year. Although 81K square feet of self storage was delivered in 2023, no construction activity was registered from 2019 to 2022. This pause in construction partially accounts for the accelerated pace of construction expected this year in Delaware. The city also saw its population grow by 10% in from 2017 to 2022, which also supports the growth of the self storage sector.

Another city in the area, Westerville, OH, is predicted to have an active 2024 on the construction front, with an estimated 103K square feet of self storage to be added to the city’s overall inventory. The city has a meager 2.4 square feet per capita and recorded no construction activity in 2023 and 2022. As a result, the city was due to see development take up again after such a long pause to address the existing demand for the service.

Outside of the Columbus area, Miamisburg, OH, is also bound to register remarkable construction activity in 2024. The city is estimated to deliver about 103K square feet in 2024. Local developers are looking to amp up construction after 2023 recorded no development activity. Plus, the city has a low inventory of 4.6 square feet per capita — signaling an underserved market.

Ohio self storage street rates dip year-over-year and also across the Midwest

The heightened construction level has translated in rent decreases and a consumer-friendly storage market. A storage unit in Ohio goes for roughly $103 per month, down 2% year-over-year. Roughly 66% of major Ohio cities have subscribed to the downward trend in the first quarter of 2024.

 

 

The same downward trend is also reflected in the entire Midwest. Kansas and Wisconsin also register the same level of street rate decreases, at 2% y-o-y. Alternatively, in Missouri, Indiana, Minnesota and Illinois, self storage rates trickled down even lower, registering a 3% drop across all four states.

Self storage rates go down in most Ohio cities, with 66% of cities seeing double-digit plunges

Further reflecting national and state trends, self storage rates tumbled in most Ohio cities. In fact, that holds true for 66% of cities, or 40 out of the 61 places analyzed. In six of the cities, decreases were in the double digits.

Self Storage Street Rates in OH Cities

RankCitySelf Storage Rent* Y-o-Y Rent ChangeSelf Storage Sq. Ft./CapitaPopulation Change (2017-2022)
1Parma, OH$108-19.4%1.61%
2Willoughby, OH$108-15.6%1.75%
3Avon, OH$97-14.2%3.410%
4Westlake, OH$137-13.8%2.95%
5Batavia, OH$101-11.4%3.8-
6Mentor, OH$90-10.0%3.11%
7Dublin, OH$122-9.0%2.310%
8Amelia, OH$82-8.9%6.7140%
9Medina, OH$96-8.6%4.9-1%
10Grove City, OH$104-8.0%3.45%
11Euclid, OH$94-7.8%3.23%
12Delaware, OH$122-6.9%7.810%
13Canton, OH$110-6.8%4.5-2%
14Warren, OH$84-6.7%4.3-3%
15Hilliard, OH$89-6.3%2.95%
16Wadsworth, OH$106-5.4%6.75%
17Painesville, OH$112-5.1%2.63%
18Columbus, OH$97-4.9%4.46%
19Xenia, OH$85-4.5%6.2-3%
20Middletown, OH$90-4.3%5.04%
21Cleveland, OH$113-4.2%2.3-5%
22Loveland, OH$93-4.1%2.93%
23Groveport, OH$73-3.9%4.17%
24Ravenna, OH$78-3.7%5.4-2%
25Reynoldsburg, OH$88-3.3%2.210%
26Powell, OH$91-3.2%3.611%
27Lancaster, OH$112-2.6%5.52%
28Canal Winchester, OH$85-2.3%3.317%
29Kent, OH$94-2.1%2.3-8%
30Akron, OH$100-2.0%4.8-4%
31Stow, OH$109-1.8%2.6-1%
32Westerville, OH$126-1.6%2.41%
33Circleville, OH$143-1.4%4.02%
34Huber Heights, OH$79-1.3%7.511%
35Tipp City, OH$86-1.1%2.94%
36Holland, OH$94-1.1%4.3-
37Cincinnati, OH$101-1.0%3.83%
37Dayton, OH$101-1.0%3.5-3%
39Beavercreek, OH$103-1.0%2.41%
40Pataskala, OH$121-0.8%3.717%
41Troy, OH$890.0%6.03%
41Elyria, OH$940.0%4.4-2%
41Miamisburg, OH$1030.0%4.6-1%
41Milford, OH$1050.0%6.5-4%
41Lorain, OH$1430.0%4.02%
46Fairborn, OH$1210.6%7.03%
47Perrysburg, OH$1080.9%5.417%
48Fairfield, OH$1070.9%3.35%
49Marysville, OH$1011.0%9.313%
50Mason, OH$941.1%3.68%
51Hamilton, OH$921.1%3.41%
52Springfield, OH$891.1%8.3-1%
53Massillon, OH$851.2%6.10%
54Newark, OH$831.2%5.33%
55Lewis Center, OH$1111.8%3.4-
56Toledo, OH$982.1%4.5-3%
57Centerville, OH$1302.4%2.93%
58Cortland, OH$742.8%3.23%
59North Canton, OH$1045.1%5.22%
60North Royalton, OH$1325.6%4.73%
61Heath, OH$806.7%3.30%

RentCafe analysis of Yardi Matrix data
* Self storage rent refers to all unit sizes in February 2024.
A "-" indicates insufficient data.

 

Parma, OH, comes first for street rate plunges, standing at a whopping 16.2% y-o-y. A Parma unit rented for $108 in February 2024. The city lost about 2.2% of its population from 2020 to 2022, based on U.S. Census data, which, combined with heightened new supply levels, accounts for street rate decreases. Willoughby, OH, comes in a close second, with a 15.6% street rate reduction, bringing a Willoughby unit to $108/month.

Avon, OH, takes up the last podium position for street rate reduction, standing at 14.2% y-o-y. As a result, an Avon unit averaged $97 in February 2024. Coming close behind, Westlake, OH, also saw significant self storage rent decreases — of 13.8% y-o-y. Renting self storage in Westlake amounts to $137/month.

The flip side: undersupply drives rents up across several OH cities

While in most cities across the state self storage rates are going down, in some places rent is rising. In most cases, local supply related to population is below the national standard of 7 square feet per person. Thus, demand is higher than existing supply, which creates favorable grounds for rent increases.

Heath, OH, comes first for self storage rent growth, at 6.7% annually. This brings the cost of a Heath unit to $80/month in February 2024. With only 3.3 square feet of self storage space, Heath’s supply is quite low, pushing rates up as it fails to meet existing demand.

North Royalton, OH, and North Canton, OH, also experienced similar rate growth increases, of about 5% year-over-year. Both cities have a lower level of self storage related to population — under 5 square feet per capita in each. Low supply, coupled with population growth, has helped push rates up as demand has grown. A North Royalton unit rents for $132/month, while the cost of North Canton storage lies at an average of $104/month.

 

Moving forward, the self storage sector in Ohio seems primed for further development as it strives to meet existing demand. Many of the state’s cities register low inventories relative to population that aren’t well-suited to respond to existing demand for self storage fueled by demographic shifts, the housing market and more.

 

Here’s how Ohio cities are faring in terms of self storage development, rents and more in the table below:

 

Methodology

This analysis was done by RentCafe Self Storage, an online platform that provides apartment and storage unit listings across the nation.

This report looks at self storage construction in Ohio cities, plus projected construction for 2024. For comparison purposes, we've also included development data for Midwestern states for 2023 and 2024 estimates.

As for self storage street rate date, we've included cities that had at least five properties with a minimum of five units.

Data on self storage street rates and construction estimates for 2023 came from our sister division Yardi Matrix, a business development and asset management tool for brokers, sponsors, banks and equity sources underwriting investments in the multifamily, office, industrial and self storage sectors.

Fair use and redistribution

We encourage you and freely grant you permission to reuse, host or repost the research, graphics and images presented in this article. When doing so, we ask that you credit our research by linking to RentCafe Self Storage or this page, so that your readers can learn more about this project, the research behind it and its methodology.

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Mirela is a real estate writer and lifestyle editor for Yardi. With an academic background in English and translation, Mirela now covers a range of topics including real estate trends, lifestyle and economy. Her previous experience in proofreading academic articles has inspired Mirela to choose a writing career path. In her free time, Mirela enjoys reading, but also hiking and creating art. You can contact Mirela via email.

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