Self-storage is underrated as a real estate asset, say experts
The self-storage sector has seen demand grow steadily in recent years thanks to the convenient and affordable solution it offers to both businesses and individuals. It has never been easier to safely store your possessions.
As more and more people move to urban areas for studying, work or to live, demand for self-storage is likely to continue growing in the future. Furthermore, the need for storage is consistent in both good and bad economies, making it an intriguing investment prospect.
Recent reports suggest that the UK market is growing at a rate of 10% a year currently, with a total value that will soon surpass £1bn. The overall number of facilities has increased by 70% across Europe over the last five years and more than 80% of self-storage operators reported increased business during, and since, the pandemic.
With this in mind, it is no surprise that self-storage has become increasingly popular with investors. As mentioned previously, this is a property sector where demand stays consistent no matter what the economic conditions are, and evidence suggests that it even grows in times of uncertainty.
Self-storage also offers low break-even rates and facilities are quick to set up, making this a simple choice for many investors. In the future, it is likely to become even more popular, and industry figures are expecting something of a boom in the near future.
Institutional investors are taking notice. For example, Heitman has more than £5bn of self-storage assets around the world including in the UK.
Gordon Black, Heitman senior managing director and portfolio manager, said: “As we execute our global investments, we continue to look to balance our portfolio across three themes: divergence or smart diversification among traditional property types; convergence or capitalisation of maturing property types; and delinked or defensive, which involves investing in assets with traits less tied to economic cycles such as self storage.”
Another notable UK trend that is boosting the self-storage sector is hybrid working. Since the pandemic re-wrote our work habits, people are in need of more space at home than they were before to accommodate their work. This is a trend that is becoming set in stone in the UK, making it reasonable to assume that more external storage facilities will be required.
Chris Hickman, Head of Operations at Cuboid, said: “Our self-storage facilities are more popular than ever. The sector as a whole is growing and we are seeing that every day with individuals and businesses looking to store their possessions for a whole range of reasons.
“If you’re moving house, changing office or need to store valuables, it makes perfect sense to take them off site and choose a secure, accessible self-storage facility. The containers will keep everything in great condition, and the site itself offers 24/7 security.”
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