It could be a while before anyone loses the storage wars.
Business is booming for companies that lease out storage units to consumers. Rents are rising, most units are occupied, and competition is tame due to limited new construction in the wake of the financial crisis, storage executives and analysts say.
Investors are bidding up the shares of industry leaders such as Extra Space Storage Inc., whose stock is up 33% through Monday in a year when many other commercial real-estate firms have been hit hard and the broader S&P 500 is down 2%. Evercore ISI last week boosted its price targets for Extra Space Storage stock and the shares of two rivals.
Large investment firms also are trying to cash in, with Carlyle Group LP spending about $80 million to help build new facilities in Southern California, the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere, and Harrison Street Capital LLC considering selling storage properties it snapped up in recent years.