Self-Storage Displays Resilience During Pandemic-Driven Economic Downturn Although Potential Challenges Lie on the Horizon
Health crisis disrupts the self-storage sector, creating avenues for new demand. The rapid and unexpected spread of the new coronavirus has upended many aspects of daily life and clouded the outlook for commercial real estate, including self-storage. The storage sector differentiates itself, however, with short-term demand drivers. As college campuses closed and people sequestered in their homes, storage needs increased. Greater storage use may also come from businesses as they reopen and adjust to social distancing protocols, which may require them to store furniture and other items off-site. Current renters are holding onto their units as well until the future becomes more clear. All of these factors bolster the sector during a time of extreme uncertainty, although how self-storage properties perform in the longer term will depend on when the pandemic is contained.