Self-storage operators in the United Kingdom have enjoyed a pickup in storage occupancy and rental rates in recent months.
Safestore Holdings Plc, Big Yellow Group Plc and Lok’nStore Group Plc are faring better than other commercial real estate in the country. The two biggest U.K. self-storage chains, Safestore and Big Yellow, only need 40 percent occupancy to break even, making all additional rentals profit.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley agree Safestore and Big Yellow shares may outperform other commercial real estate plagued by stagnant rents and property values.
A typical U.K. self-storage facility is multi-story located near a main road. Units vary in size, and two-thirds of tenants are private individuals. Other notables:
- Average rental rates dropped 2.8 percent in 2009.
- Occupancy at 32 Big Yellow storage dropped to 69 percent at the end of March
- Occupancy at Safestore rose by 3 points to 59 percent in the three months through July, and average rents climbed 3.5 percent from a year earlier.
- Safestore, Big Yellow and Lok’nStore have declined an average 8.3 percent in the past 12 months.