Keepin' It Real 

Economics, Housing, & Commercial Real Estate Analysis

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  • Alex Pettee, CFA

Storage REITs: Keep The Change

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

  • Self-storage REITs - once the darlings of the real estate sector following a half-decade-stretch of relentless growth - stumbled into the 2020s with challenged fundamentals and a strained outlook.

  • Storage demand is driven by "change", and there's been no shortage of that amid the pandemic. Self-storage REITs have delivered notable outperformance relative to other real estate sectors this year.

  • With rent collection above 95%, self-storage demand has proven to be quiet "sticky," consistent with trends of the prior Financial Crisis. Rents are essentially "collateralized" by a renter's possessions.

  • Supply growth, which had weakened self-storage fundamentals over the last half-decade, is poised to finally cool considerably. Acquisition and consolidation opportunities should be plentiful over the next decade.

  • Leasing volumes slowed amid the pandemic with a plunge in “move-ins” offset by similarly low “move-outs.” With limited visibility or precedent, the next quarter's earnings results will be especially consequential.

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