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Deloitte Real Estate publishes the Self Storage Association UK Annual Survey

A £385m turnover for the UK Self Storage industry in 2013

06 May 2014

The UK self storage industry has shown renewed optimism about trading prospects according to new research released today.

The latest Self Storage Association UK survey, produced by Deloitte Real Estate, shows the industry has fared better than many expected. Despite the introduction of VAT on rents for storage the total turnover was £385m in 2013, and 79% of operators indicate they expect to see an improvement in profits over the year ahead.

The survey shows average occupancy levels have risen three percentage points to 71% over 12 months. With little new space opening in 2013, operators have concentrated on building up occupancy within their existing facilities. With demand increasing, there is now an appetite to expand portfolios among operators, although generally this new space will be outside the more mature London market.

Rennie Schafer, CEO of the Self Storage Association UK, comments:

“Figures are encouraging as operators are seeing increased occupancy although this has been offset by slightly lower income levels. Considering that 20% VAT was applied to the rent of self storage units 18 months ago the industry has shown remarkable resilience. Life-changing moments like moving home and starting families do not stop during a recession, and this contributes to the 60% of space that is rented by the private customer.”

In addition, the report uses exclusive YouGov plc survey data of over 2,000 UK adults. This data shows that public understanding of self storage and overall usage is quite low.  Only 3% of surveyed people are currently using self storage, but 8% of people are considering using it which shows there is lots of potential growth for the industry.

Three decades ago there was no self storage in the UK but this market now boasts nearly 35 million sq ft. This equates to a 41% share across Europe with Holland and France next (15% and 12% respectively). London offers the largest share of storage space with over 8.5 million sq ft on offer. Manchester is the next highest with 536,000 sq ft reducing to 234,000 sq ft in Cardiff.

A recent BBC 2 documentary on the popularity of self storage described the UK’s self storage facilities as ‘breeding grounds for brand new businesses’. The survey shows that 40% of space is now taken by businesses, often choosing the flexible terms of self storage over a traditional business or office let.

Schafer continues: “Self storage is ideal for businesses of all sizes as it provides a flexible storage solution.  No need to be tied into long leases on fixed amounts of space, you only pay for the space you are using and can increase or decrease this as your needs change.  For home businesses it frees up the house for living in while providing a secure and easily accessible place for stock or documents.”


Notes to editors

About the Self Storage Association UK Annual Survey
This is the eighth survey which is conducted annually among the members of the Self Storage Association UK.  79 firms submitted responses this year, covering 403 self storage facilities. The report includes data on average rents, occupancy, types of facility and additional features, broken down where possible by region and over time.

About Deloitte Real Estate
Deloitte Real Estate redefines the concept of a full-service real estate business, offering a breadth of capability and an innovative approach unequalled in the market.

Our team combines traditional property services with financial and business advisory expertise to deliver integrated solutions on the most simple assignment to the most complex.  We apply a depth of insight drawn from our understanding of all industries and sectors to advise occupiers, lenders, investors and the public sector on every aspect of real estate in an increasingly complex world.

About The Self Storage Association UK
The Self Storage Association (SSA UK) is the trade association for the self storage industry in the UK.  Its role is to support its members, both self storage practitioners and industry suppliers, as well as raise awareness of the benefits of self storage and promote best practice within the industry. Please visit:

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

"Figures are encouraging as operators are seeing increased occupancy although this has been offset by slightly lower income levels." - Rennie Schafer, CEO of the Self Storage Association UK

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