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chi-lifestoragefacility (2) Life Storage reported occupancy of 91.2%, an increase of 110 bps from one year ago.

CHICAGO—A group of public REITs has dominated the self-storage investment market for years, but recently a swarm of new players made their mark. Private buyers now win many of the bids, and experts say this shift in the investment landscape will probably last a long time, even though revenue growth, while steady, has slowed down somewhat.

“Historically, the amount of annual revenue growth has been around 4%,” Marc Boorstein, a principal with Chicago-based self-storage firm MJ Partners, tells GlobeSt.com, and sometimes up to 7% or 8%. His firm just released its latest quarterly analysis of the self-storage sector and finds that the major REITs generated same-store revenue growth in the first quarter ranging from 2.1% to 5.2%. But with better management techniques and scale, most of the big players have also maintained occupancy levels of more than 90%. Just a few years ago, these firms were in the low 80s. “They are definitely holding their own.”

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.

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