Outlook positive for European self storage market as sector evolves

JLL's latest 'European Self Storage Annual Survey' in conjunction with the Federation of European Self Storage Associations (FEDESSA) shows robust performance in the sector.

September 27, 2018

JLL's latest 'European Self Storage Annual Survey' in conjunction with the Federation of European Self Storage Associations (FEDESSA) shows robust performance in the sector, which still remains fragmented with a majority of facilities operated by independent operators. Over 700 facilities across Europe took part in the survey, now in its seventh year.

Other key insights include:

  • There are nearly 3,800 facilities across Europe, providing over 9.7 million sq m of space
  • The average amount of storage on average across Europe 0.020 sq m, but with mature markets such as the UK having 0.067 and less mature markets such as Germany having a tenth of the supply at 0.007. This is in contrast to the USA which has 0.87 sq m albeit European levels will not reach that supply due to a number of factors
  • The UK is the largest self storage market in Europe, accounting for 40% of total facilities
  • The average rent is €262 per sq m per annum, rising from €258 per sq m in 2017
  • 76% of operators felt that 2018 would be a better year to increase profits, but are less confident about rental growth with only 40% expecting increases
  • There has been a 7.4% increase in occupied space
  • Strong levels of transactional activity remain, with the majority of transactions taking place on the continent in the last 12 months 

Ollie Saunders, lead director, Self Storage Europe, JLL commented: "The outlook for the self storage sector in Europe is positive. With good macro and demographic fundamentals, the next few years should see this entrepreneurial sector continue to evolve. We are seeing innovative operators adopting technology in new ways, and developing better buildings. There are some young portfolios which are growing steadily, and some more established players who are both consolidating and developing new stores. There is plenty of room for both the independents and the big players, with a variety of ways for new capital to invest in the market." 

Rennie Schafer, chief executive officer, FEDESSA adds: "The self storage industry in Europe continues to perform well, with solid returns along with increasing levels of supply and a strong supply pipeline. However, this increase in supply combined with the current economic uncertainty may test certain parts of the market in the coming years.