By Margaret Jackson
Americans love their stuff but never seem to have enough space to store it — whether they’re in the middle of a move or running an e-commerce business — and they store some pretty unusual items, including deer heads, disco balls, fossils, ivory tusks and Superman costumes.
That bodes well for the self-storage industry, which is on track to add more than 53 million square feet of storage space in 2023, according to a recent report from StorageCafe.
More than one-fifth (21%) of Americans use self-storage, and another 15% say they plan to do so in the future, according to the report.
“The pandemic gave a huge boost to the trend for remote working, meaning that people need to create offices at home, and this only added to the traditional sources of demand,” said Doug Ressler, business intelligence manager for Yardi Matrix.
Apartments in new multifamily projects are smaller than they’ve been in the past, adding to the demand for self-storage space, Ressler added. The pandemic also spurred a significant increase in RV travel, which spurred an increase in vehicle and RV storage.
“These factors and others may all encourage strong growth in the self-storage sector going forward,” he said.
Not having enough space at home, reported by 40% of storage users, is the main reason for using self-storage, followed by moving, which accounted for 34% of the reasons people rented storage space.
The most popular storage unit sizes are 5’x10’ and 10’x10’, which 22% of storage renters use to store miscellaneous items such as books and boxes of old toys and sports gear like skis, golf clubs and bikes.
Non-climate-controlled storage is suitable for many situations, but climate-controlled units are best for storing delicate items and in areas that have extreme weather conditions. Renters use both types of units with equal enthusiasm, while more than half of homeowners and residents of houses choose non-climate-controlled storage.
It’s not surprising that New Yorkers, who tend to move frequently from one small apartment to the next, conducted far more searches for self-storage facilities than any other city. Searches for storage in the Big Apple were up 61% from 2019 in a city that’s historically been undersupplied. Developers recognize the need for storage in the city and are building new facilities that represent 7.2% of its current inventory.
Other cities where residents have a high level of interest in self-storage based on internet searches include Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Orlando, Florida, which saw triple the number of searches as there were in 2019.
This story originally appeared on Benzinga.com