Self Storage Definitions of Statistical Areas - United States
The U.S Department of Management and Budget has identified 574 Primary Statistical Areas (PSAs) in the United States. These PSAs contain 929 sub-markets called Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs). The CBSAs are commonly known as "metropolitan" or "micropolitan" statistical areas (MSAs). Therefore, CBSAs and MSA's can be used interchangeably.

Major market PSAs contain a number of CBSAs, often referred to as Combined Statistical Area (CSA); the minor market PSAs are interchangeably referred to as CBSA. For example, Colorado Springs, CO is a minor market, which we may refer to as either PSA or CBSA; however, "El Paso - Las Cruces, TX-NM" is a PSA containing two sub-markets. A list of government defined statistical areas can be found here.

Self Storage Definitions of Statistical Areas - Canada

In Canada, there are 114 distinct regions. The larger regions are called Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), and the smaller regions are called Census Agglomeration (CA). A complete list of government designated CMAs and CAs can be found here.

To avoid confusion and allow granularity of data, we use the above government defined statistical areas as a guide to define our Regions.

Self Storage Facility

The following traits are characteristic of what we define as a self-storage facility.

A self-storage facility must be:

  • Open to the public (private and commercial): a self-storage facility cannot be exclusive to residents.
  • On-site accessibility: customers must have access to their unit during business hours.
  • Personal Lockers: customer must have access to personal lockers, and cannot "warehouse" items.
  • The facility must accept storage of all legal and safe items.
  • Facility does not solely specialize in "item specific" storage. For example, auto, RV, boat, wine, etc.
  • Storage is sold as stand-alone product, not bundled. For example, storage that is a part of an apartment rental contract is not considered self-storage.
  • A storage facility must be located within one of the 574 PSAs in United States and 114 CMAs in Canada, including their sub-categories (see statistical areas glossary).
  • A storage facility must be greater than 5,000 net rentable sqft..

Common storage businesses excluded from our Self-Storage definition:

  • Commercial only facilities
  • Document warehouses. For example, facilities that store documents, legal files, paper products, shredding, etc.
  • Valet service with warehouse storage
  • Storage lockers within residential buildings (only available to residents)
  • Boat, RV, and Auto storage

Facility Classification: 

Like any commercial real-estate property, we too classify self-storage facilities in three (3) distinct categories: Class A, Class B, and Class C. We have adopted a quantitative approach as our framework for classifying facilities in the self-storage market. The three quantitative metrics used in our classification include facility age, facility size and population density. The goal of these classifications is to standardize discussions and allow for more relevant and granular analysis of the market.

Class A:
A class A facility is one that has been built after 2012, usually centrally located in urban regions with a population greater than 400,000 in a five (5)-mile radius. The facility is an example of the newest and highest quality materials in the market and possesses the highest-quality infrastructure. To be considered Class A, a self-storage facility must also have greater than 30,000 rentable sqft..

Class B:
A class B facility is one that has been built between 2008 and 2012, usually centrally located in an urban area with a population greater than 400,000 in a five (5)-mile radius. The facility is still of good quality, despite not being an example of the latest and highest quality materials. A class B facility must also hold greater than 25,000 rentable sqft..

Class C:
A class C facility is one that is either older than Class B and/or located in less attractive areas, with a population total of at least 50,000 in a five (5)-mile radius. A class C facility must also hold greater than 5,000 rentable sqft..


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