Furniture tops list of personal items stored at self-storage facilities

Have you ever wondered what lies within the average self-storage unit? A recent survey of 300 self-storage users has revealed that furniture, clothing and books are the top personal items stored at Lock+Store’s four facilities across Singapore.

The survey results, published in a Cushman & Wakefield report, show that 24 percent of current users store furniture at Lock+Store, followed by clothing (14 percent) and books (11 percent). Overall, 60 percent of the storers are personal/household storers, and the remaining 40 percent are business storers.

The report also noted that about 47 percent of non-business customers use Lock+Store due to space constraints at home.

“The majority of our storers store their personal items with us because they are in between houses or downgrading from a larger home to a smaller home. This explains why furniture tops the list of personal/household items most commonly stored at Lock+Store,” said Helen Ng, Chief Executive Officer of Lock+Store.

Sigrid Zialcita, Managing Director, Research, Asia Pacific, Cushman & Wakefield believes the trend of personal storers storing bulky household items such as furniture is set to continue in tandem with shrinking apartment sizes here.

“With per square foot prices of non-landed private residential properties having surged an average of 30 percent in the last five years, developers have begun building smaller units to keep the overall quantum affordable. The proliferation of shoebox units, which are less than 50 square metres (538 sq ft) in size, as well as measures implemented to cool the housing markets have also led to smaller apartments.”

Based on data compiled from the URA, non-landed private homes in Singapore have shrunk an estimated 25 to 30 percent in the last five years. Public housing sizes have also been adjusted downwards to adapt to changing demographics.

Zialcita said: “With the caps on debt service ratios introduced last year, developers will remain constrained by considerations of affordability when developing new residential projects. As sizes of non-landed private residential units continue to be constricted in Singapore, individuals with excess household items will continue to look to self-storage facilities as a space-saving solution.”

Meanwhile, the rising trend of hobbyists is expected to drive demand for self-storage services. Among personal/household storers, nine percent are hobbyists who store items such as figurines and antiques. The provision of air-conditioned units is especially appealing to this group of users.

According to Ng, “The typical self-storage user is middle-class. About 44 percent of all respondents have a private residential address. The typical self-storage user is also very mobile. Three quarters of personal users have their own form of transport. An offshoot of this rising affluence is a new demographic group of hobbyists who store anything from bowling balls and swords to figurines, wine and art works. The challenge is to provide customised and ancillary services such as climate-controlled air-conditioning, shelving and efficient app-based online payment systems to meet the ever evolving demands of niche users.”

Zialcita concluded by saying, “The survey results show that shrinking apartment sizes, rising affluence and the trend of niche demographic groups such as hobbyists will fuel demand for self-storage services in Singapore and continue to expand the per capita penetration of such services here.”

Source : PropertyGuru

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