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Shrinking apartment sizes top driver of self-storage demand in Asia

23 May 2017

Shrinking apartment sizes emerged as the top driver of self-storage demand in Asia, revealed a survey by Ipsos Business Consulting.

Presented at Self-Storage Expo Asia 2017, the survey polled 49 operators within six countries in Asia in collaboration with the Self-Storage Association Asia (SSAA).

Notably, 90 percent of the self-storage operators indicated shrinking apartment sizes as the main driver of self-storage demand.

The survey mirrors a Knight Frank survey on the state of the self-storage industry in Singapore. The consultancy’s survey found smaller homes to be the top reason Singapore families use self-storage facilities, followed by a new addition to the family and renovation works.

“As apartment sizes shrink, individuals are turning to self-storage as a cost-effective solution for storing possessions they do not wish to discard,” said SSAA chair Helen Ng.

And given the rising affluence, particularly in mainland China, Ng expects more non-traditional use of self-storage beyond storing household items.

“The new wave of personal storers have ample disposable income to spend on collectibles such as toys, wine and art. By presenting these and other findings at the Expo, the SSAA hopes to provide a dynamic platform for operators to identify and leverage on new growth areas in their respective countries,” she added.

Although household/personal storage continues to be the mainstay of self-storage use in Asia, the balance is being gradually shifted with the rise of e-commerce.

“Small businesses are finding it more cost-efficient to shift their retail transactions online instead of having a brick and mortar presence. They now make up close to 30 percent of the customer base in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore; 41 percent of the customer base in mainland China; and 65 percent of the customer base in Taiwan,” noted Ng.

“The SSAA will highlight opportunities created by the rise of online shopping in Asia, and how operators can position themselves to take advantage of these opportunities.”

With over 200 delegates from 19 countries, Self-Storage Expo Asia 2017 opened on 16 May in Hong Kong and will continue until 19 May.

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