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Self-Storage Association Asia Intends to Capitalize on 4 Key Market Drivers to Grow Industry

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Self Storage Association Asia (SSAA), a trade association dedicated to supporting self-storage operators and suppliers in emerging markets along the Pacific Rim, intends to help the industry grow on the continent by capitalizing on four key demand drivers: death, dislocation, divorce and population density, according to a press release. “The rising trend of death, divorce and economic migrations coupled with increasing population density will contribute to the growth of self-storage for personal reasons in Asia,” said SSAA Chair Helen Ng. “This, coupled with the rise of e-commerce in Asia, will propel overall industry growth. The Self-Storage Association Asia will capitalize on these trends to grow the industry and expand our accreditation program in tandem to ensure the delivery of quality solutions to our consumers.”

Market drivers have accelerated self-storage growth throughout Asia, with penetration rates of 25 percent in Hong Kong and 20 percent in Singapore doubling between 2014 and 2015, according to a survey of storage businesses conducted by global market-research firm Ipsos Business Consulting. Japan leads the region with 847 facilities, followed by Hong Kong with 445 and Singapore with 50, the release stated. Residential demand accounts for 74 percent of rentals in Japan and Hong Kong, and 63 percent in Singapore.

Among the four key market drivers recognized by SSAA, population density was identified as sparking the most self-storage demand in Asia last year, according to information published by CBRE Group Inc., a commercial real estate services and investment firm. Density helped trigger 2.3 million square feet of storage demand in Hong Kong and 918,000 square feet of demand in Singapore in 2015, the release stated.

Consumer demand drove an estimated total of 3.4 million square feet of rented storage last year in Hong Kong, while Singapore rented 1.6 million square feet, SSAA officials said in the release. A trend toward smaller apartments in those two markets, as well as in the affluent and suburban areas of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is creating a need for self-storage, according to Ng. “Families have smaller living spaces and have even less room for their belongings,” she said. “Self-storage is an effective solution for these families until their circumstances change, such as when they upgrade to a larger apartment or when events, such as a death in the family, frees up more space.”

A death in the family can trigger a need for self-storage if family members inherit items from the deceased and don’t have room in their homes to store them, according to Ng. “Furniture and collectibles can take up a lot of space, and yet be too valuable to be discarded,” she said.

“Of the four Ds, divorce can be the most traumatic and stressful. Couples going through a divorce would need a place to store their belongings quickly as they put their shared homes on the market,” Ng added. “Self-storage offers the flexibility of storing their belongings for as short a timeframe as two weeks to as long as they wish. With their belongings in a safe location, they can focus on planning the next phase of their lives.”

Launched in 2014, SSAA supports members' interests to help grow the self-storage industry in Asia. Its annual tradeshow and conference event, Self Storage Expo Asia, was most recently held in Singapore, May 11-13.

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