Robust growth and investment opportunities in European self-storage market

New research from JLL and the Federation of European Self Storage Associations (FEDESSA) reveals that the number of self-storage facilities in Europe increased by more than 500 in Europe in the last year.

The survey of key operators, investors and funders, shows that 8,700,000 square metres of space across 3,247 self storage facilities exists in Europe highlighting a resilient market with even further capacity for growth and investment opportunities.

There is now 0.018 square metres per capita, compared with 0.878 square metres in the USA.

Ollie Saunders, lead director in JLL's Alternatives team, said: "The self storage industry has had a strong 2017, and has seen growth in rents, occupancy and the number of new stores across nearly every European country. Robust demand, coupled with ever-increasing awareness about the sector, makes the next twelve months look positive for operators and investors."

Rennie Schafer, Chief Executive Officer of FEDESSA and the Self Storage Association UK, added: "The growth of self storage in the UK has been fuelled by firstly an increase in the number of people using self storage to support their relocation around the country and, following Brexit, noticeably to other parts of the world. But equally importantly has been the realisation by many businesses that self storage is a sensible commercial option. Last year alone, more than 10,000 customers started their businesses in UK self storage units. Indeed, around 42% of all self storage space in the UK is rented to business owners, with around half providing storage space for the burgeoning rise in online retail."

Other findings from the survey include:

  • In 2017, Europe has 3,247 self storage facilities totalling 8,700,000 square metres of space
  • 44% of facilities are situated in the UK, with over 85% of the total number of facilities located across six countries
  • The average amount of storage per capita is 0.018 square metres, with the UK, the Netherlands and Iceland having three times this level
  • The average rent is €258 per square metre per annum and average occupancy has increased slightly from 80% to 81% over the last year
  • The European market remains highly fragmented, with the ten largest brands across Europe representing only 22% of the total number of facilities, but under 39% of the total space
  • There have been around €350m of transactions over the last 12 months
  • Three out of four operators expect 2017 to be a more profitable year than 2016
  • Operators who confirmed that they are looking to expand anticipate growth of 467 facilities in the next three years from their existing 1,188 facilities, representing a potential increase of 39% in these portfolios or a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.7% per annum
  • For the first time JLL and FEDESSA asked operators what sustainability initiatives they have introduced to their facilities. Findings shows that 8% of operators have solar panels installed

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