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News Release

Urbanisation and attraction of alternative assets is good news for self storage sector

New survey from JLL and the Federation of European Self Storage Associations shows opportunities across the sector


5th October 2016 - New research from JLL and the Federation of European Self Storage Associations (FEDESSA) highlights a buoyant self storage market with room for further growth and investment opportunities.

The survey of key operators, investors and funders in the sector from across Europe shows that there has been €500 m of transactions over the last year, an increase of 25% on 2015.

Urbanisation is a strong driver for self storage demand. JLL research shows that across Europe 75% of people live in cities and that this number is expected to continue to rise. There is more than 7.7m sq m (80 m sq ft) of self storage across Europe.

The UK market remains the largest market comprising 39% of the total number of European facilities, but with the expectation that there will be significant expansion in the next few years across the rest of Europe.

The survey also highlights increased optimism in the sector with 80% of respondents saying that they feel that 2016 would be a better year for increasing profitability.

Other findings include:

  • Operators who confirmed that they are looking to expand, anticipate growth of 311 facilities in the next 3 years representing 8.7% per annum
  • The self-storage market is highly fragmented market with the ten largest brands across Europe representing over a quarter of the total number of facilities
  • The self storage industry has continued to grow in Europe over the past year. There are now 2,746 facilities, an increase of 6% on 2015 which equates to an additional 149 facilities
  • There are 2,746 self storage facilities across Europe (up 6% from 2015) totalling 7.776m sq m (up 8% from 2015)


Ollie Saunders, Lead Director in JLL’s Alternatives team, commented: “The self storage industry is confident in its future with opportunities to develop and consolidate across a number of markets which are at different stages of maturity. With strong user demand, along with increasing awareness and urbanisation, coupled with capital finding the asset a reliable and predictable alternative asset, the next 12 months look positive.

“In a crowded real estate market, investors are finding it increasingly challenging to allocate capital in traditional real estate sectors. This is encouraging investors into alternative markets such as self storage. Alternative assets are attractive due to low interest rates, improving user demand and a favourable supply and demand equation.”

The full report can be downloaded here.