European self-storage: Eastern European markets showing rapid development

Eastern European self-storage markets including Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic having large purpose-built self-storage stores with some major brands developing quickly.

Developed markets like Spain and Sweden are continuing to show consistent growth and Germany has also demonstrated significant development in recent years.

The SSA UK, alongside Cushman & Wakefield, has produced its 13th annual industry report, which examines a range of data points and surveys on the growth prospects for the sector in 2019. The report looked at the state of the self-storage sector across Europe. In 2018, including the UK, there were 3,882 self-storage facilities totalling approximately 102 million sq ft of space.

Oliver Close, Partner, Cushman & Wakefield, explains:

“From an investment perspective, the growth and underlying fundamentals of the sector mean there remains significant interest. This is coming from a variety of sources including institutions and private equity as well as family offices.”

“There is also definite evidence of consolidation in the market with only a limited number of mid-tier size operators. We are also seeing significant competition for development sites in the best locations as affordable opportunities are limited due to competition from a range of other land uses. Prominent locations are also highly sought-after as the physical presence of a store is a great permanent advert when overall public awareness is still limited.”

Rennie Schafer, Chief Executive, Self-Storage Association UK, explains:

“The UK is a European market leader when it comes to the usage of self-storage, yet at the same time our annual report shows there is still relatively low awareness of the concept and the brands within it from the public at large.

“That is changing over time and use of self-storage is undoubtedly reflective of the way we live and work. It is there for domestic reasons such as people moving house, a death in a family or starting a new relationship. Equally, a growth in online businesses is fuelling the need for storage facilities and is supporting a wave of entrepreneurs. More than a third of space is taken by commercial customers. Overall, occupancy levels and profitability growth within the sector indicate demand is growing faster than supply, but at a lower rate than compared with the previous 12 months.”

james.wallace@realassetmedia.com