The economic environment of the last several years has been very favorable for self-storage values and operating performance. In fact, we have enjoyed the longest economic boom the self-storage industry has ever experienced. This has been spurred by strong operating performance, improving market fundamentals, better industry data, fluid debt markets, quality third party management platforms and a growing customer base. In short, when evaluating risk-adjusted returns and comparing self-storage with other commercial real estate investments, the returns are higher, and the various risks are more moderate, except for the risk of overbuilding.
We are just now starting to see some operating softness in select markets that over the last 12-28 months, have experienced a large number of new projects coming on line. This has led some buyers to shy away from these particular markets. Most of the new development has taken place in the top 25-50 MSAs and is largely concentrated in specific areas within these markets.