Self-storage: creating its own market

With retail and more recently offices falling out of favour with many investors, all eyes are on alternative property types. Among the most popular is self-storage, though as with any opportunity, a key consideration should be to separate the hype from the substance – or at least cyclical from structural drivers. 

Self-storage has benefitted from both over recent years: While more consumers and small businesses became aware of self-storage and increasingly started using it, the sector also benefited from the cyclical forces of post-COVID activity, not least on housing markets. But does the opportunity go beyond the here and now? And are European markets equipped for self-storage? 

Self-storage: U.S. versus Europe 

Extrapolating the trends from the U.S. self-storage story suggests the European market could see potential growth opportunities. The key argument points to provision rates compared with the U.S. Over the Atlantic, supply of self-storage space is approaching 600 sqm per 1000 population, while Western Europe ranges between 4 sqm in Italy and 79 sqm in the U.K., with an average around 35 sqm

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