The Rise of Sunbelt Markets in Self-Storage
In recent years, there has been significant population growth, job creation, and investment activity across the Sunbelt — specifically in states like Texas, Florida, Arizona, and Georgia. This trend has caught the attention of self-storage investors and developers from all over the country.
The term “Sunbelt” describes this region due to its warm climate and the consistent economic and population growth it has experienced for many years.
The Sunbelt states have attracted both businesses and residents because of their affordable cost of living, lower business expenses, tax-friendly environment, and ample available land for development. The population, job opportunities, and business growth in the Sunbelt region indicate a positive demand for self-storage facilities.
Why are Self-Storage Investments Thriving in the Sunbelt?
Population Growth and Migration
One of the primary factors contributing to the surge of self-storage investments in the Sunbelt is the rapid population growth and migration patterns in this region. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans are moving to relatively affordable, growth-friendly places, especially Sunbelt suburbs. These patterns reflect Americans’ long-held desire to live in regions with solid economic possibilities and affordable quality of life.
The top 10 areas for population growth over the last 12 months are in Sunbelt metros, according to George W. Bush Institute. Texas leads the way with four metros claiming the top spots: Dallas-Fort Worth (#1), directly followed by Houston (#2), Austin (#6), and San Antonio (#9). Florida also features three metros on the list: Orlando (#5), Tampa (#7), and Jacksonville (#10). The remaining three cities are Atlanta, GA (#3), Phoenix, AZ (#4), and Charlotte, NC (#8).
According to a recent report from StorageCafe, the combination of hybrid work setups, smaller apartment sizes, and the shift from urban to suburban living has increased demand for self-storage solutions nationwide.
This shift has been highly prevalent in California’s Sunbelt market, specifically in San Francisco. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit and San Francisco enforced an extended lockdown, many residents left the city and found more cost-effective housing options in the suburbs. According to CoStar Group, this exodus resulted in nearly 10,000 unoccupied multifamily rental units.
There has also been a significant rise in millennials, the largest generation, moving to the suburbs. This is noteworthy because about 21 percent of millennials use self storage facilities, making them the second largest portion of storage users in the U.S., according to Storage Café.
Economic Growth and Business Opportunities
The Sunbelt markets have become popular destinations for startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurial ventures. As the business landscape continues to flourish, the demand for commercial storage space will continue to rise.
Self-storage facilities provide entrepreneurs and organizations with a flexible, cost-effective way to store goods, equipment, and records. Businesses can efficiently manage their storage requirements by adjusting storage space based on their demands, eliminating the stress of long-term leases or the need to invest in specialized warehouse locations.
Stable CRE Market Conditions
The Sunbelt markets are not immune to the tolls of economic volatility currently affecting commercial real estate. However, these markets have shown more signs of stability in light of black swan events and downturns compared to other regions in the U.S. This stability has made Sunbelt markets attractive investment opportunities for years.
The combination of good market conditions and rising demand for storage solutions has produced an ideal environment for self-storage investments in sunbelt markets.
Sunbelt markets’ increasing demand for storage solutions has presented lucrative opportunities for investors. This demand is projected to remain strong as the population grows, consumer behavior changes and the business landscape evolves. Investors seeking a successful operation with consistent profits can look into self-storage investment prospects in the Sunbelt markets.