Self-Storage Sees Uptick in Demand

By Kelly Leighton | Jan. 2, 2023 | 2 min. read

Over the past decade, self-storage construction has soared.

From 2012 to 2021, 350 million square feet of storage space, or 22% of total inventory, were distributed across the U.S., according to a new report from RentCafé. The report cites the high construction of new apartments over the decade for the increased demand of self-storage space, with more than 3.1 million apartments added through the years. Despite construction challenges over the past few years, self-storage remained stable, adding 1.9 million square feet in 2021. It is anticipated that self-storage will increase by 1.6 million square feet over the next two years.

Over the last decade, Philadelphia had the 20th highest volume of apartments constructed, making it the 13th most active for self-storage construction. Self-storage construction represented 23% of all existing inventory. From 2012-2022, the area added nearly 6 million square feet of new storage space and more than 47,000 new apartments, representing 15% of all existing inventory. A 10’x10′ storage space in Philadelphia averages a rent of $146 a month in the area.

“With the local economy expanding and shifting toward new sectors such as information technology and services, Philadelphia has been on migration radars for a long time now. In response to the increasing demand for new housing, the city has amplified both the multifamily and self storage sectors,” said Emily Man, RentCafé senior analyst.

Pittsburgh also saw a surplus of both apartments and storage space units over the past decade. Self-storage inventory represents 25% of all existing inventory, while multifamily inventory represents 15% of all existing inventory. Nearly 2.8 million square feet of storage space was added, while more than 13,000 multifamily units were added.

In the Harrisburg-Carlisle area, 533,000 square feet of self-storage was added, representing 22% of all existing inventory, while more than 4,000 multifamily units have been added, representing 14% of all existing inventory.

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