Storage is often just associated with businesses, but more individuals than ever are now needing storage space as their possessions are starting to pile up. The self-storage industry has been massive in the United States for a number of years and has recently seen a rise in popularity in Europe.
So, why is the self-storage industry going from strength to strength and is it a business worth investing in?
Self-storage involves the storage of goods by individuals and companies in their own self-contained and secure space. For the business client, self-storage is often seen as a cost-effective alternative to buying or renting expensive space. For the individual, self-storage frees up much-needed space at home.
Interestingly, the United States makes up almost 90% of the global self-storage market. For every 1 million Americans, there are 163 storage units. This growth is driven by several factors, starting with the relentless accumulation of goods by American consumers. Between June 1967 and June 2017, expenditures on durable goods — things like couches, bikes, and iPhones — increased almost 20-fold.
While self-storage is hugely popular throughout the United States, it has yet to catch on in Europe. In fact, for every 1 million Europeans, there are only 3.7 storage units. However, an increasing number of entrepreneurs are waking up to the untapped opportunity that is self-storage and as a result we are now beginning to witness a surge in the availability of facilities throughout Europe.
“Storage Units Per Million Of Population”, source: Inside Self Storage
What are the factors set to drive the continued growth of the EU self-storage market?
The United Nations estimates that 16 million people in Europe will move to cities in the next 10 years which will increase demand for both residential and commercial buildings.
In addition to an increasing urban population, house prices have increased while the size of living spaces have decreased. Europeans in recent years have experienced an increased strain on space, which means that that external self-storage facilities are going to become an increasingly attractive option for city dwellers.
It is estimated that roughly 72% of Europeans live in cities and this figure is 10% higher in the UK, with an estimated 82% dwelling in cities.
Today’s facilities are getting a serious makeover with more architectural elements like creative lighting, sleek design, large windows or atriums. and first-class finishes. There is no skimping on amenities in the new sites and this has the potential to give them a competitive edge. Extremely clean units, round the clock surveillance and state-of-the-art climate control are becoming more common.
What’s more, the need for specialty storage is on the rise and many new storage builds now have facilities to store luxury RVs and boats. These niche markets are becoming particularly popular in self-storage facilities near lakes and affluent recreational areas.
Check out our infographic about the size of the self-storage industry now.