Often linked to the housing market, the U.K. self-storage industry suffered some setbacks during the worldwide recession, but now appears to be stabilizing. In some areas, the shuffle in the housing industry actually created more demand for some operators.
Businesses downsizing are also renting self-storage units. Safestore Holdings reports 50 percent of tenants-to-let are business customers. Big Yellow Group’s clients are one-third business.
There are more than 750 self-storage facilities in the United Kingdom, according to the U.K. Self Storage Association. Three companies, Safestore, Big Yellow and Lok'nStore Group are listed on the stock market.
Shares for all three companies declined in 2008. Safestore has made the most gains, up 182 percent year-to-date, with shares of Big Yellow up 52 percent and Lok'nStore up 50 percent.
Source: MarketWatch, Self-Storage: A Murky Window Into the U.K. Housing Market