As we settle in to 2011, it is clear that self-storage values are rebounding along with the values of all other commercial real estate. In 2010, large MSAs like New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, and Washington saw the beginning of a rapid recovery in commercial real estate values, much to my surprise. A combination of big portfolio sales and solid returns during the downturn has led both small and large investors back to self-storage as a preferred investment.
Since the onset of the recession in 2008, millions of Americans have had to adjust to lower personal incomes, family members losing jobs, decreased asset valuations and shrinking investment portfolios. Simultaneously, commercial real estate values have plummeted by as much as 40 percent from their 2007 benchmark highs. With such financial difficulties, many people have simply tried to hang on until better days. We think those better days may be coming in 2011 given recent encouraging signs of economic improvement: