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Britain is Becoming a Nation of Storage Keepers!

20th June 2017

UK residents rent four times more self storage space than the French, and nine times more than people in Germany, causing a boom in Britain’s storage sector.

Britain is now home to almost half of all of Europe’s self storage units with almost 42.2m sq ft of space in total, according to a report from property advisory company Cushman & Wakefield, while growth in demand is continuing to outstrip supply.

Last year, 24 new self storage sites opened in the UK – the greatest number in any European country. Occupancy increased by almost three percentage points in the last 12 months, to 75.8pc, despite more units being built.

Cushman & Wakefield’s report found that large self storage brands in particular have been expanding rapidly in recent years to ensure a larger chunk of the £540m UK market.

Safestore said last week that record enquiries for its space continued to boost its profits, while Big Yellow has spoken of expansion across the South East in particular.

Two thirds of self storage customers are aged between 40 and 65 years old, and 81pc are between 35 and 70, showing that younger people are the least likely to use storage facilities. This fits with the general trend among so called millennials to settle down later in life.

Divorced or separated people are also more than twice as likely to use self storage as a single person.

Rents in London, which sit at £29.45 per square foot per annum, are almost twice that as in the East Midlands and the North. Scotland, however, has shown the greatest increase, rising 23pc from £18.29 to £22.49 in the year.

Rennie Shafer, chief executive of the UK Self Storage Association, said: "The longest standing customer in the survey began renting their unit in 1987. While that’s exceptional, 44pc of business customers have stayed for three years or more, compared with 31pc for personal customers.”