Citing the resilience of the self-storage sector demonstrated during the coronavirus pandemic, self-storage REIT National Storage Affiliates has taken a step that its publicly held rivals have not.

Earlier in the pandemic, National Storage Affiliates pulled its financial forecast for 2020, just as three of its main competitors had done. But on Nov. 5, the Greenwood Village, CO-based REIT reinstated its 2020 outlook. Due to continued uncertainty over the pandemic and the economy, three of the four other publicly traded self-storage REITs — CubeSmart, Extra Space Storage and Life Storage — have declined to re-establish their 2020 financial guidance. Public Storage doesn’t issue annual financial forecasts.

Here is National Storage Affiliates’ new guidance for the current fiscal year:

  • Same-store revenue growth of 0.75% to 1.25%, down from the 2.25% to 3.25% projected in February.
  • Same-store operating expense growth of 1.5% to 2%, down from the 3% to 4% projected in February.
  • Same-store NOI growth of 0.25% to 1%, down from the 2% to 3% projected in February.
  • $400 million to $500 million in wholly owned acquisitions, compared with the $400 million to $600 million projected in February.

“We’re optimistic about the fourth quarter, and we’re looking forward to 2021,” President and CEO Tamara Fischer said during the REIT’s third-quarter earnings call Nov. 6.

In terms of acquisitions, National Storage Affiliates purchased four wholly owned facilities for $23.8 million during the third quarter. Fischer said the REIT has about $300 million worth of acquisitions in its pipeline, mostly in the form of one-off deals.

“There are still a lot of assets to acquire out there,” she said.

Other highlights of National Storage Affiliates’ third-quarter earnings report include:

  • Same-store revenue stayed flat at $86.2 million compared with the same time last year.
  • Same-store NOI increased 0.2% to $60.5 million compared with the same time last year.
  • Same-store operating expenses declined 0.4% to $25.7 million compared with the same time last year.
  • Same-store occupancy averaged 91.1%, up 100 basis points compared with the same time last year.
John Egan