European self storage market grows as sector continues to evolve

JLL’s latest ‘European Self Storage Annual Survey’ in conjunction with the Federation of European Self Storage Associations (FEDESSA) showed robust performance in the sector

October 01, 2019

JLL’s latest ‘European Self Storage Annual Survey’ in conjunction with the Federation of European Self Storage Associations (FEDESSA) showed robust performance in the sector, with new stores being developed and an increase in customers who use them. Over 800 facilities across Europe took part in the survey, which is now in its eighth year.

The survey was launched at the FEDESSA Conference today to more than 700 delegates from across the self storage and investment industries.

Key insights include:

  • In the last 12 months, there were more than €250 million of transactions in the self storage market
  • There are 4,350 facilities across Europe, providing over 9.8m sq m of space, meaning that there are now 9 stores per million inhabitants in Europe, compared to more than 160 in the USA
  • The UK has the greatest amount of available self storage space per person with 40% of the number of stores.
  • The average rent in Europe is €259 per square metre per annum (around £22 psf) and average occupancy is 79%
  • The top 10 operators in Europe represent 25% of the number of facilities and 40% of the total available space
  • The largest operator in Europe is Shurgard who (as at May 2019) occupy 232 facilities

Ollie Saunders, lead director, self storage Europe, JLL commented: “In the last 12 months, we have seen a step change in the amount of interest in the self storage sector from an increasingly diverse set of investors who are looking to access the market in a number of different ways. From funding development, to entering joint ventures and direct acquisition, the market remains active but sometimes frustrated by the lack of stock and entrepreneurial operators looking to expand. There have been some notable deals in the sector this year, such as Legal and General’s first acquisition into the market, which is testament to the growth and continued interest from institutional investors”  

Earlier in the year JLL advised Legal & General on its first acquisition into the self storage sector, with the landmark acquisition of the Iron self storage portfolio.

Rennie Schafer, chief executive officer, FEDESSA added: “The self storage industry in Europe continues to perform well, although this year’s results were not as positive as previous years. Consolidation of the market looks like it’s continuing with the major operators having funding to expand their portfolio, but decreasing numbers of properties available for development. Going forward, it will be interesting to see how the industry adapts to emerging technology like unmanned stores and Bluetooth access control. We also expect the rise of ‘mixed-use’ to open up new opportunities for the sector and drive growth as it lowers development costs and maximises the use of land. With the cost of land rising, this can open up previously out of reach opportunities for self storage in major metropolitan areas where land prices are at a premium.”

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we will build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.3 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of nearly 92,000 as of June 30, 2019. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated.