The Self Storage Association of the United Kingdom (SSA-UK) and global real estate advisor Cushman & Wakefield have released results from the association’s 12th annual survey of industry operators, providing data on average rents, occupancy, facility types and other performance indicators. A demand study was also commissioned from YouGov for the fifth consecutive year to measure the level of consumer awareness and perceptions of the U.K. self-storage industry.
There are an estimated 1,505 self-storage facilities in the U.K., about 345 of which offer space predominantly through the use of shipping containers rather than dedicated metal buildings, according to the report. Survey responses were received from 72 companies operating 482 locations. It isn’t clear how many of those sites are container-based.
Occupancy rose 3 percent year over year, increasing to 76.1 percent, though the amount of space rented grew 8.8 percent. The growth in rented space was partially attributed to the addition of 2.4 million square feet of new leasable space. Though more than 70 new storage facilities opened in 2017, about 20 percent of new rentable space was added by expanding existing locations. There is now .67 square feet of storage space per capita nationwide.
Total industry revenue in 2017 was estimated at £750 million, with the average rental rate per square foot rising to £23.08. Growth in occupancy and revenue indicates consumer demand is outpacing supply, according to the study. The U.K. represents 48 percent of the European self-storage market.
Despite growing demand, just 46 percent of consumers have a “good awareness” of self-storage services, according to the report. Of those surveyed, 17.7 percent indicated they had never heard of the product, while 36.7 percent said they had heard of it but knew nothing about it. More than 60 percent of consumers couldn’t name a self-storage operator in their local area, and just 32 percent were aware that only tenants have access to their individual storage unit.
The 72-page survey report is available as a free PDF download from the SSA-UK website.
Founded in 1917, Cushman & Wakefield offers a complete range of services for all property types including consulting and appraisal, corporate services, debt and equity financing, investment banking, leasing, and sales and acquisitions. Its Self Storage Practice Group is dedicated to the asset class. The group offers consulting, data services, feasibility, investment advisory and valuation in major markets.
The SSA-UK is the trade association for the self-storage industry in the United Kingdom. Its mission is to support member operators and vendors, promote best business practices, and raise public awareness.
SSA-UK, Annual Industry Survey