Self-Storage Operators Experience Unit Shortage Due to Moving Boom in Bend, OR

An improving economy coupled with a housing shortage have increased move-ins at self-storage facilities in Bend, Ore., leaving occupancy full across the market and forcing customers to put their names on waiting lists, according to the source. “In our first year [2008], the owner was giving storage away, basically,” said Steve Miller, assistant manager at Jamison Street Self Storage, “And now, it’s basically the opposite.”

An improving economy coupled with a housing shortage have increased move-ins at self-storage facilities in Bend, Ore., leaving occupancy full across the market and forcing customers to put their names on waiting lists, according to the source. “In our first year [2008], the owner was giving storage away, basically,” said Steve Miller, assistant manager at Jamison Street Self Storage, “And now, it’s basically the opposite.”

An influx of people moving to Bend and other areas of Oregon spiked recently, with the state named the top U.S. moving destination in 2013 and 2014 by the “National Movers Study,” an annual report produced by United Van Lines LLC, a national moving company. Sixty-six percent of moves to and from Oregon were “inbound,” which led the nation and represented a 5 percent increase year over year.

“With economic stability growing nationally, the current migration patterns reflect longer-term trends of movement to the southern and western states, especially to those where housing costs are relatively lower, climates are more temperate, and job growth has been at or above the national average, among other factors,” said Michael Stoll, an economist and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was quoted in the study. “Unique amenities such as outdoor recreation, arts and entertainment activities, and green-space protection likely continue to propel Oregon to the top of the list for the second straight year.”

Of the inbound moves to Oregon in 2014, 38 percent of respondents cited a new job as their reason for moving, while 29 percent said retirement, according to the report. Deschutes County, which includes Bend, was the fastest-growing county in Oregon last year, with a 2.67 percent increase of inbound moves from 2013, the source reported.

Occupancy at Jamison Street Self Storage is at its fullest from May to September, which is considered moving season in Central Oregon, Miller told the source. All 320 units at the facility are currently rented, and the business is keeping a waiting list, he said.

“We have people moving to town who don’t have a place to live yet and don’t have any place to store their stuff, and they’re sitting out here in a U-Haul truck,” Dave Romine, manager at Old Mill Self Storage in Bend, told the source. Old Mill is one of four storage facilities in Bend owned by Northwest Self Storage. While the facilities work together to find available units for customers, the number of move-ins during the last year have made finding vacancies difficult, Romine said. Some Bend residents have had to rent units as far away as Prineville, Ore., about 35 miles away.

S & R Storage in La Pine, Ore., about 30 miles north of Bend, has been fully occupied since the beginning of the year and has a waiting list two pages long, facility manager Lorrie Bosch told the source. A handful of her tenants are from Bend, she said.

Elsewhere, Northwest Crossing Self Storage, which opened earlier this month, has units available but is quickly leasing up, manager Linda Eaton told the source.

Sources:

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