What Makes Self-Storage So Darn Sexy
Move over multifamily. There’s a new supermodel walking the runway and her name is self-storage. (All her dresses are from boxes people put in storage.) One Austin deal helped illustrate three facts about this hot sector.
1) Race to Buy
Reliable cash flow and the low overhead associated with the operations make self-storage very attractive, says Marcus & Millichap national self-storage group's Brandon Karr. Bloomberg Markets even named the four publicly traded self-storage REITs as its favorite alternative investment. Brandon says his recent sale of the 78k SF Your Storage Solution in North Austin is a good example. About 15 potential buyers put in bids. Brandon repped the private seller and the buyer, a publicly traded REIT.
2) Hot Austin Market
Brandon tells us Austin is one of the most desirable markets in Texas for self-storage, and this 772-unit deal at 12506 N Lamar Blvd provided the buyer with a stable income stream right out of the gate. With the REIT’s management experience and expertise, there’s also opportunity for increasing occupancy and revenue. In 2013, Austin self-storage asking rents climbed 4.7% to $136/unit for climate-controlled facilities like this one. Operators will increase climate controlled rents 4.5% this year, Brandon says. (We're one sweat-drenched t-shirt away from just living in a climate-controlled unit.)
3) Rockin’ the Rates
The escrow process took five months because the buyer had to assume the existing CMBS loan, Brandon says. The property was sold at a low cap rate based on the trailing 12 month net operating income. The loan comes due in 2023 and has an interest rate in the low 4% range, he tells us. Away from work, Brandon likes to hit the links with his wife, Bridget. They’re trying to indoctrinate their 2-year-old son, Stevenson, into a love of the game, too. He’s already adept at pulling the pin out of the hole.