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In Nation of Hoarders, Self-Storage Spots Outflank McDonald's

The stratospheric growth of the self-storage industry has been a relatively quiet commercial real estate success story. To put it in perspective, the industry has 48,500 locations across the country, more than triple the number of McDonald's (14,350) restaurants, and generates $24 billion in revenue every year. That means that the warehouses, garages and pods holding your ski equipment and holiday decorations take up so much space they generate $3.25 billion in state and local property taxes each year. According to REJournal.com, America's attachment to stuff (one in every ten rents storage space) has been a boon to investors, who love investing in a real estate sector that rarely sees defaults and has occupancy rates north of 90 percent during boom times. "There are about seven square feet of self-storage space nationally for each person in the United States," according to Maurice Pagoda, an expert quoted in the story who invests in the industry.

America isn't the only place with a surfeit of stuff >>