Storage.co.uk, an advice website for people interested in renting self-storage space in the United Kingdom, conducted a survey in early January of U.K. self-storage facilities, attempting to gain insight to the outlook for 2011. The survey results were published on the website last week, indicating optimism for self-storage in the year ahead.
According to Storage.co.uk, virtually every self storage centre in the country was invited to take part in the e-mail survey, though the site does not clarify how many facilities that includes or how many companies responded. The survey asked operators four questions:
- Do you plan to plan to increase your rental rates in 2011?
- What percentage of your space is currently occupied?
- Do you think 2011 will be a better year for your business than 2010?
- What percentage of your new rental inquiries comes from the Internet?
More than two-thirds of respondents (69 percent) said they are not planning to increase rental rates in 2011, with many saying they feel their current rates are reasonable and reflect the average for their local market. Several firms pointed out that rates will go up without management intervention because of passing on the higher rate of VAT (value added tax).
On average, respondents reported being 74 percent occupied in their self-storage facilities. Storage.co.uk believes this number agreeably high in light of the still sluggish economy and the timing of the survey; January is a seasonal low point for U.K. storage operators.
Ninety percent of the self-storage operators polled said they believe 2011 will be a better year for their business than 2010. Though several of the respondents are new players to the U.K. self-storage industry and have every reason to expect increasing performance as their facilities lease up, Storage.co.uk said this optimism on behalf of established companies has everything to do with the recession.
Respondents indicated that an average of 49 percent of their rental inquiries come through the Internet, though some indicated a percentage as high as 90 percent or more. A minority said they get almost no online inquiries.
Storage.co.uk provides a self-storage finder, a how-to guide, videos and blogs covering all aspects of renting storage space.