The self storage industry continues to expand in the United States, answering customers’ needs for safe and affordable storage space. Yardi Matrix data shows that there are currently about 1.4 billion square feet of self storage space in the US, and about 190 million square feet, or around 13%, were built over the last five years alone.

The demand for storage has increased substantially in recent times, driven by both residential and commercial consumers. Many people, including employees that found themselves needing to move their work operations home, as well as companies who had to reorganize their place of business in order to follow social distancing guidelines, turned to self storage to gain extra space.

One of the biggest draws of self storage is affordability — keeping items in a storage unit is generally a lot less expensive than getting a bigger home or occupying larger offices to accommodate all storage needs. But how much does a storage unit really cost? We looked at all 50 states and the largest 100 cities to determine the most — and the least — expensive areas in terms of self storage.

Among the US states, Hawaii posts the highest self storage rent with an average street rate of $253 for a 10×10 unit. The state’s rather expensive self storage market is most likely related to its low inventory, which saw very little new construction over the past ten years.

Hawaii currently has a total inventory of 2.43 million rentable square feet of storage space, or 1.7 square feet per capita, representing an addition of only 109,000 square feet compared to 2010. The demand for self storage, on the other hand, continued to grow, driving rents up from an average of $155 per month in 2016 to $253 in 2020. Hawaii is followed by New York and California, with $174 and $168, respectively.

At the other end of the spectrum, residents of Oklahoma enjoy the lowest self storage rates, with a monthly average of $68. In Arkansas, self storage rents for $74 on average, and a storage unit in Nebraska rents for $80 a month.

Honolulu and San Francisco the most expensive cities nationally

The average national street rate for a 10×10, non-climate-controlled self storage unit was $117 this December, according to Yardi Matrix. However, self storage prices can vary significantly from city to city, depending on local particularities, including general market trends and individual unit amenities. Some of the factors that govern self storage pricing are:

  • The size of the existing self storage inventory
  • Local demand
  • Migration
  • Location
  • Type of unit and amenities (climate-controlled, vehicle storage)
  • Size of units — with bigger ones, such as 10X20 and 10×30 storage units, naturally calling for bigger prices.

The most expensive city for self storage is Honolulu. Mainly supported by demand and a limited inventory level, a 10×10, non-climate-controlled storage unit in Honolulu rents for about $299 per month — that’s more than double the national average. There are only about 4,400 storage units in the city, totaling a little over a million square feet of rentable storage space. This translates into 3 square feet per capita, well under the national benchmark of 7 square feet of storage space per capita.

The second most expensive city in terms of self storage is San Francisco, California. The street rate for a self storage unit in San Francisco stands at $262 per month. Same as Honolulu, San Francisco is low on self storage space per capita, with only around 2.5 square feet per capita. In conjuncture with the city’s notoriously small apartments, which contribute to residents’ increased need for self storage, the low supply level contributes to keeping street rates high.

The street rate for a 10×10 storage unit in Arlington, Virginia, a city with about 2.6 square feet of space per capita, hovers around $249 per month. New York City is the fourth most expensive city for self storage in the country, with the average rent for a 10×10 storage unit in NYC at $244.

Los Angeles follows very closely behind — the average street rate for a 10×10 storage unit in LA stands at $239, with Jersey City next in line, where street rates hover around $214 per month. Oakland, California, is the sixth city that sits above the $200 threshold. The monthly rate for a 10×10 self storage unit in Oakland is $203.

Seattle, Boston and Long Beach, California take the final three spots in the top 10 of the most expensive cities for self storage. A 10×10 self storage unit in Seattle rents for $193 per month, one in Boston goes for around $187 per month, while a storage unit in Long Beach costs $182 per month.

Oklahoma City offers the lowest self storage costs among the country’s top 100 cities

60 of the country’s biggest cities have rents below the national average. Oklahoma City, the least expensive for self storage among the country’s 100 largest cities, has a total inventory of over 6.5 million square feet of storage space, translating into about 10 square feet of space per capita — three times more than the per capita inventory in Honolulu, the country’s most expensive city for self storage. Renting a 10×10 self storage unit in Oklahoma City cost $67 per month —about half of the national average.

Bakersfield, California, a city with the per capita inventory of 12.6 square feet, is the second least expensive – a 10×10 self storage unit in Bakersfield goes for $68.

Tulsa, Greensboro, Memphis, Omaha, Wichita and Winston-Salem also feature self storage costs under $80 per month. A 10×10 self storage unit in Tulsa rents for $73, whereas Greensboro storage units rent for $75 per month.

Indianapolis, Indiana and Lubbock, Texas are the only two cities among the 10 least expensive ones nationally where the monthly rent equals or goes above $80 per month. A 10×10 storage unit in Indianapolis costs $80 per month, while a unit in Lubbock rents for $81 per month.

Check out average street rates in the 100 biggest cities in the US:

If you live in a different city or town than the ones listed above, you can easily find self storage costs by browsing and comparing units near you.

Author

Maria Gatea is a creative writer for STORAGECafé with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the self-storage industry. You may contact Maria via email.

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