The SSA have published their Annual Report for 2018 into the self storage industry - here are some facts and figures...
The self storage industry remains one of the fast-growing in the UK. The UK market still dominates the industry in Europe - accounting for 48% of the total European storage market. There are 1505 storage facilities in the UK, offering a total of 44.6 million square feet of storage space, this represents an increase of 75 storage facilities and 2.4 million square feet since the last industry report was released – to put that into context, 2.4 million square feet of space is an increase in storage space of more than 5.5 times the size of Wembly Stadium!
The UK still leads the European self storage market by a massive margin and this is likely due to the high cost of housing and the fact that here in the UK we have, on average, some of the smallest homes in Europe. The average UK home is now 67.8 sq metres (730 square feet), which is the lowest it has been in 90 years!
Safestore is the largest operator in the UK in terms of facilities with 108 storage facilities and 4.5 million square feet of storage space. Access Self Storage have fewer facilities at 74 with a combined total of 4.6 million square feet. The market is dominated by this type larger, national operators with smaller outfits struggling to compete.
So, who uses all this storage space
According to the SSA report, divorced or separated people are more than twice as likely to use self storage than most other people. Self storage is often used times when life changes and separation or divorce from a partner, it seems, can often lead to the need for temporary storage. In terms of age - the age range with the highest self storage usage is between 50-64 with 42% of the market within this age range. A total of 71% of the market are aged between 40 and 69 years old. People living in 1 and 2 person households are the most common users of storage facilities - making up 67% of the total.
Proximity to the space seems to be one of the main drivers for a users choice of unit with 68% reporting a travelling distance of up to 20 minutes. This is also reinforced by the stated reasons for individuals choosing a particular storage facility - with the most important feature being stated as proximity to home. With 34% of users saying that they visit the facility more than once per month and 13% saying they visit once per week - this is not a surprise.
A growing storage market means growing demand for related services like storage insurance. As we have mentioned in this blog on many occasions - there are a number of self storage providers now offering either their own policies or that of a storage insurance provider as part of the deal. Our recent blog post about mis-selling looks at some of the issues around this and why caution is advised here. Whilst there is, arguably, a duty of care on the provider to make sure they are taking into account a storage users needs when looking at insurance, the onus is on the consumer to ensure that they are getting, not simply the best deal on their storage insurance, but the best storage insurance for their circumstances. This should take into account cover limits, any exclusions and the type of cover they require.
For more information on our storage insurance product, have a look at the summary of cover on our website, as well as our FAQ's, you can also get an instant quote and instant cover.