Analysts from commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group Inc. and the Federation of European Self Storage Associations (FEDESSA) predict self-storage investment across Europe will reach record levels this year. The organizations also forecast sustained rental rates and occupancy as well as continued growth in new supply, according to a press release. Their projections are based on survey responses from more than 5,200 members of the public as well as 109 self-storage operators representing more than 1,600 facilities across 24 European countries.
Self-storage investment volume in Europe is expected to reach €1.12 billion by year-end, eclipsing last year’s record of €740 million. “We’re seeing investors allocating capital to sectors which offer attractive cash flow through strong revenue growth and cost-efficient operating models,” said Callum Paddock, director of the operational real estate team for CBRE. “Whilst the sector is not immune to the ongoing wider market challenges, self-storage assets offer appealing, long-term fundamentals and as a result, investor appetite is robust.”
Sentiment among existing self-storage operators also remains high, with 96% expecting rental rates to either increase or remain the same. Similarly, 90% of European operators believe occupancy will likely grow or stay at current levels, the release stated.
New supply is also expected to grow this year. Data indicates there are 221 self-storage developments planned across the European continent, with 59% either approved or under construction. In all, leasable space is predicted to reach 14 million square meters by Dec. 31, according to the release.
Self-storage facility sales and acquisitions are projected to be slow for the next 12 to 24 months, which could also spur an increase in building-conversion projects as a way for investors to get into the market.
The positive outlook comes despite continued challenges in elevating consumer awareness about self-storage and its services, particularly in emerging markets. “The findings of our survey show that consumer awareness of the self-storage offering remains low, particularly in continental Europe,” said Rennie Schafer, CEO of FEDESSA. “This further evidences the potential growth in the industry as more people become aware of how self-storage can help them through their life changing moments or in establishing their businesses.”
CBRE Group, a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, employs approximately 115,000 employees, excluding affiliates, and serves real estate investors, occupiers and owners worldwide. The company offers strategic advice and execution for appraisal and valuation; corporate services; development services; investment management; mortgage banking; property, facilities and project management; property sales and leasing; and research and consulting.
Founded in 2004, FEDESSA consists of 12 European self-storage associations that represent about 2,000 facilities. The organization hosts its annual conference each fall in a different European city.