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SSA UK annual report: 3 key operating metrics signals a bright future ahead

04 May 2018



The self storage Association’s annual report shows that the occupancy levels, rental rates and profitability; the 3 key operatic metrics for the industry, are on the rise.

Occupancy levels across the industry have continued to increase based on the amount of space currently available to customers (CLA) with an increase of 2.2 percentage points or 3% on last year’s results. A number of new stores added to the survey this year have increased the difference between the MLA (Maximum lettable area) and CLA (Space currently available to customers)

Average net rental rates for the industry have been slowly but steadily increasing over the past 5 years, with a 2% increase in 2017. With inflation figures having reached around 3%-mark post Brexit, this indicates that rental rates have not kept up with inflationary increases, although inflation is expected to fall back to previous levels in the short term.
The increase in the occupancy and rental rates over the past 4 years have led to an increase in overall profitability by 5% in 2017, which is significantly more than inflation.

Below are the key highlights of the SSA UK’s annual report:
1. Commercial customers tend to take larger spaces for longer periods, and there are generally less issues with bad debt.
2. The industry has seen a 30% increase in profitability since 2013.
3. The results indicate that operators are feeling more bullish about increasing existing customers’ rental rates that empty room rates.
4. 70% of operators expect improvement in profits and only 5% expecting a downturn.
5. Online enquiries have a lower conversion rate when compared to enquiries via phone or walk in.
6. 70% of self storage users are 40-69 years old and 42% of self storage
7. A staggering 44% of self storage users have only 2 people residing in their home.
8. 32% of customers surveyed have had their unit for 3 years or more.
9. About 78% of customers visit their unit once a month or less.
10. Proximity and security video monitoring are the top features customers look for in a self-storage facility.

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