Highlights from the 2015 UK Self Storage Association Annual Survey

Storage

The June 2017 publication of the 11th SSA UK annual survey fast approaches publishing the latest findings and performance from the UK self storage industry in 2016. Here‘s a quick round up for you of last year’s survey assessing 2015 and representing survey responses across 435 facilities (80 separate companies) equating to more than 60% of the UK’s self storage space.

A reminder of the 2015 Survey Results

1. There were an estimated 1,077 UK based self-storage sites (inc 195 container storage)
2. The industry covered 37.6 million sq feet of storage space (visualise approx. 489 professional football pitches!)
3. 489 football pitches worth of self storage space equates to 0.59 sq ft storage per head of population.
4. An addition of 1.9 million sq ft of storage space added UK wide (1.3 million in 2014).
5. 2015 industry turnover from around 490 operators was approximately £440 million. (comparison - apparently the government are planning the same amount improving faster broadband in rural areas!)
6. UK average annual combined net rental rate of self-storage including containers increased to £22.15 per sq ft (£11.04 for containers only) and London was the most expensive at £29.28.
7. Since the last rental rate peak of 2010 room rental rates have enjoyed steady growth year on year since 2013.
8. UK Store sizes vary in range with the largest numbers of facilities falling in the 30,000 – 50,000 sq ft range and of these the actual current lettable area (CLA) averaged out at approximately 43,700 sq ft.
9. Smaller stores are less than 5,000 sq ft and the average size of the regional self storage business is less than 10,000 sq ft and not accurately reflected in the 2015 survey group of 80 companies that took part.
10. It appears more people than ever are deciding to take advantage of a storage unit, as occupancy levels in 2015 rose to 73.1% on the current lettable space
11. Despite the growing occupancy levels many people remained unsure of how self storage works with only 30% actually understanding that they were the only ones accessing their storage unit.
12. The 2015 survey indicated 90% of people have now actually heard of self storage versus 77% in 2014.
13. Since 2014 the internet has been a growing driver in generating awareness of self storage. 11% of the 2015 survey responses quote the internet as a driver of recognition alongside 10% for outdoor advertising and 10% for friend and family referrals.
14. 69% of operators said facility visibility remained the key driving factor of facility awareness.

In summary 2015 was deemed a year of healthy growth and we certainly hope that even with Brexit 2016, 2017 and beyond continue to prove a strong and growing self-storage market in the UK. SSA UK’s press release last year didn’t indicate any alarm bells on the Brexit ruling and in their opinion did not think there were any signs that Brexit would have a negative impact on the industry.