Life Storage CEO: Acquisition environment getting ‘a little bit’ more difficult

John Egan
February 27, 2022

In 2021, the self-storage REIT racked up a record-high $2.3 billion in wholly owned and joint venture acquisitions, adding 144 facilities to its portfolio. Of that, $1.7 billion went toward the acquisition of 112 wholly owned facilities.

This year, Williamsville, NY-based Life Storage anticipates making between $550 million and $650 million worth of wholly owned acquisitions. The company already has $483 million in deals closed or under contract for 2022, CEO Joe Saffire told Wall Street analysts Feb. 25.

Saffire said the acquisition environment “is just a little bit more difficult” this year due in part to higher costs of capital and rising interest rates. Furthermore, fewer portfolios in the $100 million to $200 million range have hit the market, he said.

“We’re fortunate that we’ve been working on a number of deals that we’ve been able to get under contract for the first quarter and have a nice pipeline … ,” Saffire said during the REIT’s fourth-quarter earnings call.

Highlights of Life Storage’s 2021 results include:

  • Same-store revenue rose 14.1% compared with 2020. The REIT forecasts same-store revenue will increase 9.5% to 10.5% this year.
  • Same-store NOI soared 19.4% compared with the previous year. Same-store NOI is expected to grow 11.5% to 12.5% in 2022.
  • Same-store operating expenses inched up 3.5% compared with 2020. This year, the REIT foresees a 5% to 6% jump in same-store operating expenses.

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