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News Release


Europe turn to self storage as a solution to urbanisation and shrinking living space

​​Moscow, 09 October, 2015 – Urbanisation and shrinking living space key drivers for self storage market according to new research conducted conducted by FEDESSA and property consultant JLL.

Currently, 72% of Europe’s population live in cities a fact expected to rise to 80% by 2020. In some of the largest countries such as the UK, 82% of the  population live in cities, whilst this figure is 80% in France. The pressure on space in these urban environments is increasing, resulting in smaller living spaces per person and rising residential property prices while areas of high density housing, particularly in higher socio-economic areas tend to be high users of self storage.

London is a prime example of this trend, with its population hitting a new all-time high of 8.6m this year, and projected to rise above 10m by 2030. House price growth has been 8% per annum over the last five years, causing the percentage of the population renting to rise from 17% in 2001 to over 25% today. In addition, the average size of a one bedroom flat in London is now only 47 sq m, highlighting the squeeze on space.

The self storage industry has continued to grow in Europe during 2015. According to the findings, there are approximately 2,600 facilities, which is an increase of 7.1% on the number in 2014. There is now almost 7.5 million sq m of self storage space, which has grown by 4.9% in the last year. Measuring the exact number of self storage facilities and the space is difficult. Six countries have over 80% of the total number of facilities in Europe. The UK market is the largest with 39% of the total number of European facilities, followed by France, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and then Sweden. The largest number of new openings has been in the UK, which has seen just under 50 new facilities open in the last 12 months.

The amount of self storage available per person is greatest in the UK, with the Netherlands and Sweden following closely behind. All three countries have around three times more space than the European average, which is 0.015 sq m per capita. These figures are consistent with those seen last year, which suggest that when compared with the more mature markets in the USA and Australia, which have 0.72 sq m and 0.17 sq m per capita respectively, there are still opportunities for growth. However, it is unlikely that the amount of self storage space per person will ever reach the same levels as that of the USA, given a number of factors including the availability and price of land.

Self storage floor area per capita
Self storage floor area per capita_09102015.png


Another metric to consider is the number of self storage facilities per million population. The average number in Europe is 5.3 facilities per million population. The Netherlands has the highest with an average of 16.6 facilities per million population, whilst the UK has 15.8 facilities and Iceland has 15.2 facilities per million population.

The average size of facility is 4,312 sq m, although they range in size from less than 1,000 sq m to over 10,000 sq m. The average rent is €340 per sq m and average occupancy has increased from 74% to 78% in the last year.

Self storage average rents
Self storage average rents_09102015.png


Rennie Schafer, Chief Executive Officer of FEDESSA said: “The FEDESSA annual survey shows that the industry in most European markets is once again showing solid signs of growth, in terms of expanding sites, new developments and new entrants to the industry. Furthermore we are seeing unprecedented consolidation of the industry as major operators that were previously largely growing through development of new sites now acquiring existing businesses.  Such as the Shurgard acquisitions in Germany and the Netherlands, Big Yellow in the UK and recently Blue Space acquiring City Self Storage in Spain.”

Meanwhile capital flows into European Commercial Real Estate (CRE) have seen a significant rise over the past few years. Direct real estate investment volumes hit €102 billion in the first half of 2015, up 21% since 2014. The UK accounted for 40% of all European transactions in 2015. The weight of money coming into CRE has led to many investors being priced out of certain sectors in core locations, and concurrently looking increasingly at ‘alternative’ sectors such as healthcare, student housing and self storage. The alternatives space now accounts for 17% of all investment in Europe, up from 10% in 2010.

Ollie Saunders, Lead Director – Alternatives at JLL commented:  “Self storage operators are telling us that they are expecting a growth in demand for self storage. Some more developed markets – such as the UK and The Netherlands – are maturing; we have seen strong investor appetite for the sector as it has continued to demonstrate robust performance. With these track records, savvy investors and developers are looking to expand in emerging markets as the drivers of growth are now well understood in Europe. Investors have spent over €400m buying existing businesses this year, and the survey shows that more stores are planned to be opened to meet the continuing demand from consumers across Europe.”

​About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. A Fortune 500 company with annual fee revenue of $4.7 billion and gross revenue of $5.4 billion, JLL has more than 230 corporate offices, operates in 80 countries and has a global workforce of approximately 58,000. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 3.4 billion square feet, or 316.0 million square meters, and completed $118 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2014. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $56 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated.

In Russia and CIS JLL has offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev. JLL, Russia & CIS was voted Consultant of the Year in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014  and 2015 at the Commercial Real Estate Awards, Moscow; Consultant of the Year at the Commercial Real Estate Awards 2009, St. Petersburg; Consultant of the Year at the RCSC Awards in 2015, and The Best Real Estate Consultancy in Ukraine at the Ukrainian Property Awards in 2013.