Often times the United States ends up being the unofficial testing ground for the future trends the world falls in love with. In the 1960s it was the first to give self storage facilities a try. Fast forward to the present day and self storage has become a $20 billion a year industry.
The UK has taken notice of the success self storage has had across the pond in the United States, and is starting to see some success of its own. According to the Self Storage Association UK, since the industry first started in the country in the 1980s, the industry has grown to over 800 self storage facilities across the nation.
A lot of growth has come in the last five years with the industry growing by as much as 15 percent and at least by eight percent each year. That growth can be attributed to a lot of the typical factors like marriages, divorces, retirement, change of job, or any number of factors. One of the biggest factors leading to the growth is an increase in the population.
One of the most basic reasons people need self storage space for is a lack of space at their homes (and in many cases, office as well). The country on the whole has simply become a bit crowded.
The population of the UK has been estimated at just over 62 million (as of 2010). While that number pales in comparison to the more than 300 million residents of the United States, the UK is a much more densely populated country. It has an estimated 255 people per square kilometer; the United States only has 32.
To add to the problem, there has been a shortage on housing lately as well. As the number of people living in the UK has increased, the number of available homes has not. The reason behind that is one that the housing market in the United States has faced as well, the economy.
“Until mortgage finance and the supply of land for development improves, the situation is unlikely to improve drastically,” said Steve Lees, director for SmartNewHomes.
According to estimates provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government, there was a decrease of about nine percent in new construction in the second quarter of 2011 when compared to the first.
Take an overcrowded country and a lack of housing and you have a climate primed for expansion in the self storage industry!
“Gap between ‘supply and demand’ of new homes.” Safestore.co.uk; 22 August 2011.
History of the Industry; Self Storage Association UK.
2011 SSA Fact Sheet; Self Storage Association.
World Population; Wikipedia.