Self Storage Faces Widespread Rate Drops in Major Cities, Yet Construction Activity Remains Steady

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  • This April marked the nineteenth straight month of price adjustments, with national self storage street rates falling by 3.6% compared to last year.
  • Among the top 10 cities with the largest rate decreases, eight are in the Sunbelt region, with Fayetteville, NC, leading the way.
  • Despite the general downtrend, some cities like Fresno, CA, Rochester, NY, and Lincoln, NE, saw moderate increases in their year-over-year rates.
  • The country’s 150 largest cities account for nearly a quarter of the projected self storage development on a national scale.

The self storage sector has been experiencing street rate drops for nearly two years, with the national average for renting a unit at $135 this April. This represents a 3.6% year-over-year decline in prices. However, on a month-over-month basis, the national average street rate has remained mostly stable for the sixth consecutive month.

Several factors contribute to these declining rates. A cooling housing market has slowed moving activity, while robust inventory levels in many major markets and sustained construction activity have also played a role. Almost 54.4 million square feet of new supply is slated for delivery by the end of the year, marginally surpassing the self storage space added in 2023 by 2%. In fact, new construction is expected in 55% of the country’s 150 most populous cities.

Three Sunbelt cities register double-digit price drops

Self storage prices have plummeted the most in Fayetteville, North Carolina, by almost 12%, to $114 per month for the average unit. A very well supplied market, Fayetteville registers 11.3 square feet of space per capita, compared to a national benchmark of seven square feet of space per capita. An additional 123,000 square feet of new space is expected to be delivered this year, which is further contributing to the affordability of local self storage services.

Chandler, Arizona, ranks second nationally for the steepest year-over-year self storage rate drops: almost 11%, with an average unit renting for $116 this April. Chandler is not the only city in the Phoenix metro area experiencing self storage price declines. Tempe, Arizona, ranking seventh nationally, saw local rates plummet by 8.6% year-over-year, to $117 based on April 2024 quotes. No new deliveries are forecasted this year in either city, so the downward pressure on rates might cool off soon.

The third city that is experiencing a double-digit price decrease, hovering around 10%, is San Bernardino, California. The average monthly rate here falls just below $100, with the month-over-month street rate also seeing a significant 1.4% decline. In fact, San Bernardino is one of the only two cities in the top 10 where prices are dropping on a monthly basis as well. The expansion of the local inventory is keeping the prices down, with a significant 80,000 square feet of new space already delivered this year.

Construction activity is on a roll in Pittsburgh, PA, with the forecasted 2024 new supply, at almost 120,000 square feet, virtually doubling last year’s deliveries. In fact, 75,000 square feet of new storage space has already been added to the local inventory this year, so, naturally, prices are getting more affordable here. The self storage street rate dropped by 9.6% year-over-year, to $122 per month this April.

A new entry among the top 10 cities with the steepest street rate declines is Overland, Kansas, where the average storage unit now rents for $113, or 8% less compared to April 2023. Over 100,000 square feet of new storage space is projected to be constructed here this year, representing a 30% increase in deliveries compared to 2023.

Moderate price increases in select cities across the country, attributable to low inventories, population growth

Fresno, California, tops the short list of cities with self storage price increases this April. The average unit here rents for $123, representing a 2% increase year-over-year. Although the local inventory in Fresno is in line with the national standard, at seven square feet per capita, the city’s growing population and the lack of new deliveries that spans over three consecutive years (2022, 2023 and 2024) is putting pressure on street rates.

Rochester, New York, a market with a great appetite for further self storage development, ranks second nationally for price increases. Renting an average self storage unit amounts to $139, representing a 1.4% year-over-year advance on street rates. The self storage inventory in Rochester amounts to a very modest 3.5 square feet per capita, which, naturally, puts pressure on consumer prices for this service. However, there are efforts to increase the availability of self storage in Rochester, with over 100,000 square feet of space already completed or under construction this year.

Lincoln, Nebraska, registered a self storage street rate growth of 1% year-over-year this April, with the average unit renting for around $109 per month. The local self storage inventory is on the lower side in Lincoln, at about 6.3 square feet of storage space per capita, while the city boasts a growing population, by almost 5% over the past five years, two factors that are contributing to prices going up. There is some construction activity in Lincoln on the self storage front, albeit very moderate, with just over 24,400 square feet of new space forecasted to be delivered this year, representing a 45% drop in volume compared to the previous year.

Another undersupplied self storage market, Honolulu, Hawaii, is also witnessing a slight, 0.8% advancement in self storage prices year-over-year. The street rate for an average unit in Honolulu is currently at $310, double the national average, mostly due to the city’s low per capita inventory of only 3.2 square feet, as well as robust local demand surging from the city’s propensity toward outdoor activities and its tourism-centric economy. Over 91,000 square feet of new storage space has already been delivered in Honolulu this year.

Texas remains a leader in self storage growth, hosting 4 of the top 10 most active construction markets

There’s plenty of action on the self storage construction front, especially in the big U.S. markets looking to bulk up their storage offerings. Texas is making waves with four cities landing in the top 10 for most expected construction activity.

Leading the pack is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which is on track to boost its self storage space by over 721,000 square feet by the end of the year — a hefty 57% jump from 2023. Already, about 330,000 square feet are taking shape, responding to the city’s tight squeeze with only 3.2 square feet of storage per person.

Top Cities for 2024 Expected Construction

#City2024 Projected New Supply (sq. ft.)2024 New Supply as % of InventoryCurrent Sq. Ft. per Capita
1Philadelphia, PA721,33511%3.2
2Fort Worth, TX622,8987%6.1
3Houston, TX598,3212%6.8
4Los Angeles, CA492,2837%1.8
5Jacksonville, FL460,3875%9.4
6San Antonio, TX455,8293%8.8
7McKinney, TX358,79313%8.1
8Las Vegas, NV343,2012%7.4
9Miami, FL327,3874%3.7
10Tucson, AZ308,2894%8.4
11Henderson, NV306,7149%6.4
12San Diego, CA289,0274%4.1
13Little Rock, AR263,7389%12.1
14Greensboro, NC226,1326%10.3
15Vancouver, WA215,5247%8.2
16Seattle, WA189,5205%4.0
17Orlando, FL186,9132%7.0
18Anaheim, CA186,69412%1.5
19Austin, TX185,1542%8.0
20Garland, TX181,9018%3.8
21Colorado Springs, CO169,9943%10.8
22Stockton, CA165,5307%6.4
23Glendale, AZ164,6017%2.8
24Lubbock, TX160,9134%16.0
25Albuquerque, NM159,8233%7.7
26Virginia Beach, VA157,5203%10.6
27Cape Coral, FL156,6769%7.4
28Mesa, AZ155,0123%5.8
29Cincinnati, OH153,9994%3.8
30Yonkers, NY151,78515%2.0
31Columbus, OH149,6093%4.4
32Cleveland, OH131,3057%2.3
33Tampa, FL130,2602%6.9
34Oklahoma City, OK129,4612%8.4
35Fayetteville, NC123,3244%11.3
36Sacramento, CA121,1932%4.9
37Dallas, TX119,4431%5.2
38Pittsburgh, PA118,0674%3.5
39Modesto, CA115,9276%6.1
40San Bernardino, CA114,6837%3.3
41Durham, NC114,0004%9.0
42Madison, WI109,3238%4.2
43Atlanta, GA109,0412%4.5
44Fort Wayne, IN108,2775%7.0
45Santa Clarita, CA108,15911%4.4
46Gilbert, AZ107,2915%3.8
47Boise, ID106,4983%11.3
48Overland Park, KS103,2759%3.0
49Arlington, TX101,2503%5.8
50Elk Grove, CA100,1018%3.9
51Mobile, AL100,0003%10.3
52Lexington, KY98,3704%8.0
53Chesapeake, VA95,5824%6.6
54Santa Rosa, CA95,1245%7.6
55Honolulu, HI91,1907%3.2
56Milwaukee, WI86,9463%3.7
57Brownsville, TX83,8379%5.1
58Scottsdale, AZ78,8753%8.2
59North Las Vegas, NV78,0003%4.5
60Minneapolis, MN77,5954%2.0
61Baltimore, MD77,1302%3.7
62Akron, OH75,4554%4.9
63Nashville, TN74,6642%6.6
64Newport News, VA73,1095%6.1
65Memphis, TN72,7411%8.0
66Winston-Salem, NC69,2553%7.0
67Charlotte, NC69,1501%7.1
68Indianapolis, IN67,1491%6.9
69Baton Rouge, LA66,0821%11.2
70Grand Rapids, MI60,1034%3.7
71Salem, OR55,4233%8.2
72Tacoma, WA46,9502%4.3
73Tallahassee, FL45,4702%10.9
74Tulsa, OK44,1361%9.0
75Louisville, KY43,4751%7.5
76Corpus Christi, TX39,1071%12.0
77Wichita, KS32,8791%6.7
78Lincoln, NE24,4151%6.4
79Huntsville, AL21,5591%10.6
80Reno, NV13,2600%14.5
81St. Petersburg, FL11,7990%5.9
82Peoria, AZ10,1731%4.5

RentCafe analysis of Yardi Matrix data
* Forecasted construction (%) for 2024 as a percentage of the total existing inventory at the end of 2023

Not far behind, Fort Worth, Texas, is gearing up to add nearly 623,000 square feet of space to its storage facilities, which is a whopping 151% more than last year. The city’s population has swelled by almost 11% in five years, ramping up the need for more space. Houston is also in the game, planning to roll out almost 600,000 square feet, with 114,000 square feet already in the works.

Down in San Antonio and McKinney, also in Texas, they’re expecting to bring 456,000 and 359,000 square feet of new storage online this year, respectively. McKinney has seen a remarkable 19% surge in residents over the past five years.

Over on the West Coast, Los Angeles isn’t sitting back either. The city is prepping to double down with 492,000 square feet of new self storage slated for 2024, more than doubling last year’s efforts. This push is in answer to LA’s really low storage square footage per person and sky-high rental rates — units go for $245 on average, way over what most people pay elsewhere.

Methodology

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

This report considers self storage rents and construction estimates for 2024 based on April 2024 data.

The report includes the largest 150 cities by population with an active self storage inventory of at least ten units. The analysis only encompasses same-store properties that have had a market presence for the previous 12 months.

The self storage street rate is calculated as the weighted averages of the street rates for all storage unit sizes, non-climate-controlled and climate-controlled units included.

For population changes, we've turned to U.S. Census data (2017-2022 dataset).

Data on self storage street rates, deliveries, and 2024 forecasted construction activity 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 to this page.

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Maria Gatea is a real estate and lifestyle editor for Yardi with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the real estate industry. You may contact Maria via email.

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