CubeSmart targets acquisitions as 2020 comes to a close

John Egan
November 10, 2020

After a pandemic-induced lull in acquisitions, self-storage REIT CubeSmart plans to close nearly $644 million worth of deals in the fourth quarter of this year.

Through early November, the Malvern, PA-based REIT had wrapped up the purchase of only three facilities for a total of $74.7 million. But over the next several weeks, CubeSmart is set to close on the acquisition of 17 facilities for $643.9 million.

As a result, the REIT is on track to end 2020 having spent $718.6 million to acquire 20 facilities. By comparison, CubeSmart spent $246.6 million last year to buy 29 facilities.

Three-fourths of this year’s acquisition dollars are earmarked for the purchase, announced Oct. 27, of eight facilities in the New York City, NY, market from Storage Deluxe. The price tag for the portfolio, measuring 780,425 rentable square feet, is $540 million. Also under contract are nine facilities for a total of $103.9 million.

Picking up steam

During CubeSmart’s third-quarter earnings call Nov. 6, President and CEO Chris Marr said the company’s investment activity had “picked up steam” after a pandemic pause.

“I think it’s a good time to be in the [self-storage] sector. I think others want to be in the sector. I think people are generally pretty well capitalized. And I think visibility into the performance of the product is much better than it was three to six months ago,” Tim Martin, chief financial officer of CubeSmart, told Wall Street analysts. “So I think that’s going to be conducive to additional transactions and certainly a lot of interest.”

Other highlights of CubeSmart’s third-quarter earnings report include:

  • Same-store revenue inched up 0.1% to $147.6 million compared with the same period last year.
  • Same-store NOI fell 1.6% to $103.1 million compared with the same period last year.
  • Same-store operating expenses jumped 4.2% to $44.5 million compared with the same period last year.
  • Same-store occupancy averaged 94.4%.
  • The REIT rolled out a mobile app giving customers the ability to access gate codes, pay bills and receive notifications.
  • The October move-out rate decreased 4% compared with the same month last year.
  • CubeSmart added 37 facilities to its third-party management platform.

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