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The Rise of UK Self Storage

The next time that you drive past a major arterial road, chances are that you will be exposed to a boldly positioned self storage facility.

As an industry, self storage began in the United States when the first self storage facilities opened in the 1960s. It wasn’t until the 1980s when the industry was first securely established in the United Kingdom. The rise of UK self storage has increased tremendously over the last few years and today there are more than 1 000 facilities across the country.

The industry has seen a significant rise across the entire continent. This increase in popularity is largely due to consumers and businesses taking advantage of renting storage space as they experience seasons of change and growth such as moving home, retirement, marriage, storing business archives, stock or office equipment.

In 2004, the Federation of European Self Storage Associations (FEDESSA) was created due to the rapid growth of the self storage industry across Europe. Today FEDESSA represents 1400 self storage facilities, more than 70% of the total number of self storage facilities in Europe. FEDESSA aims to provide a common voice for the industry across the continent, support the development of national associations, support countries where the industry is growing, and position the industry as a responsible partner in the business sector.

With the growing interest in the industry, self storage in Europe is expected to expand even further in the years to come, offering viable investment opportunities. Due to the constantly improving income returns, it has created a strong demand for investment. In addition to the above, the self storage sector has consistently performed over the years, marking itself as an appealing option for investors.

Self storage as a great investment opportunity

One of the most attractive reasons for investing in self storage is the opportunity to purchase shares of an equity real estate investment trust (REIT). These are publicly traded shares with competitive dividend yields. Self storage has earned a reputation as being an industry that is as close to recession-proof as it gets.

The break even occupancy rate for self storage demonstrates significantly better chances than the likes of apartments. Self storage facilities tend to experience faster recovery than other assets during a time when the real estate market suffers a loss. In addition to the investment opportunity in the self storage industry becoming attractive, the facilities themselves are taking on a modern and clean aesthetic.

Facilities are shifting to become more convenient and sleek in both appearance and practicality by introducing modern design architecture, climate-control, security and on-site packaging supplies.

The versatility of the self storage unit has also grown dramatically in recent years. Gone are the days when a unit was merely used for storing extra belongings. Today, facilities are being used by small businesses as an extension of the office – decreasing overheads and increasing convenience. This freedom given to growing businesses has placed an increased value on self storage facilities as their purpose and use has expanded.

It will be interesting to watch how this industry continues to grow over the years to come, particularly in the UK.

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