The purchase and rental of a house with storage is almost a luxury. As soon as there is an offer and you get one of these well-used rooms, it makes the final price of the transaction more expensive. Only 33% of the apartments for sale in Spain have a storage room; for rent the percentage drops to 23%. In addition, in Madrid and Barcelona the purchase is between 15% and 18% more expensive if the house includes this room and the rent goes up between 14% and 20%, according to the Idealista portal. If you only look for a storage room, without floor, in Fotocasa realize that the demand in Spain in the last year has increased by 69%, while the offer has grown by 31%.
The storage room lives a boom. The deficit is being used by companies that are building storage centers. The sector of self storage (Rent of storage rooms in English) has become in a few years a buoyant business that grows at a rate of more than 15% per year, according to Carles Viladecans, manager of the Spanish Self Storage Association. And it has left the huge ships located in the peripheries to settle in the urban centers of the big cities, in buildings that rehabilitate to meet all that demand you need to have a storage room much closer to your home.
Spain has 475 centers (until January 2019), 60% more than just three years ago. In 2018, 25 new operators have emerged, adding up to 247. The communities with the most offer are Catalonia, Madrid, Andalusia and Valencia, which together account for 75%, according to the association. So well is the sector going, that Spain is already the third country in Europe with the highest number of centers, behind the United Kingdom and France.
The rent bubble and higher floors for sale benefit this business. Many people have been forced to move to smaller apartments and need an extra room to store their belongings. "The more purchases and rentals of houses benefit us the most, because the business works when people change floors," says Eduard Bosch, director of marketing at Bluespace. Because, he insists, "it is cheaper to rent a storage room than to change the floor". In addition, many families had to make room when their children returned during the crisis. Then there are those who make reforms or move for a time to another city or country; those who rent a room on Airbnb and need to empty it; students…
"We are nurtured by change, as long as there are circumstances that alter people's lives, be it a birth, a reform, a move … our model will continue to make sense", emphasizes Nicolás Pérez, co-founder and CEO of OhMyBox !. Without forgetting the companies and freelancers (40% of the clients) that use them to store their stocks of products or their documents, says Viladecans.
The facilities usually have good communication in public transport "so that users do not have to invest too much time in travel," says Pérez. Even so, the centers of the main operators have free parking for loading and unloading. Clients have their belongings available at any time through an access code. In addition to the flexibility in time and size, the centers are monitored and a packaging service is offered upon payment.
The storage market is very fragmented, since 75% of companies have a single center. Bluespace is the leading firm with 37 properties. He brought the US model to Spain in 2002 and since then he has settled in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia and is preparing new openings in the first two cities. Each year it adds 30,000 new clients and says it has an annual one-digit growth. "50% of customers make permanent use, 30% temporary, for a period of about four months (change of floor …), and the remaining 20% are companies and freelancers," Bosch says. Their storage rooms have from one to 200 square meters and the prices depend on the location, size and occupation. The four meters cost between 100 and 125 euros per month.
On the other hand, the model of Necesito un Trastero (the second firm, with 36 centers) is different: it is present in more than 20 provinces with small franchised centers.
OhMyBox !, offers the rental of storage rooms from one to 10 square meters at prices between 20 and 200 euros per month. They say that since its foundation in 2013 they have maintained an annual growth of over 70%. "We have an occupation of more than 90% and more than 3,000 active clients," says Pérez. In its five years of life, more than 10,000 users have used the service. It has four locations totaling 14,000 square meters in the center of Barcelona.
Door to door
And if in addition to storing, they collect the belongings and return them when the client needs them? It's what the start-up Box2box, founded in 2018 by Sander van Steijn and Guillaume Jorquera, of Dutch and French origin. "We want to revolutionize the classic storage market, which implies having time and desire to pack and rent a van," says Jorquera. The business model door to door, which was born six years ago in the US and two in Europe, consists of keeping the furniture in a warehouse on the outskirts of the city. The company does the hard work: dismantling, packing, transporting, placing in the ship and returning. The client does not have a key to enter when he wants; If he needs to recover an object he asks the company and they take it to his house in 24 hours. The firm has five warehouses in Leganés (Madrid) and along the A-42 and have closed the year with 500 customers.
The price becomes cheaper. "The full service is 30% cheaper than a classic storage room," according to Jorquera. A space of two square meters costs 55 euros per month. The collection is free if it is contracted for two or more months and the final delivery costs 99 euros (nine euros from the second partial delivery). "The majority of clients, who contract between one and six square meters, need storage for several months for renovations or because they move abroad," he explains.
The market between individuals also moves. According to the data of Redpiso, "the demand of rent and sale of storage rooms has increased 18% in 2018". And purchases increase as an investment because it has become a refuge value that offers double-digit returns. "The average price ranges from 700 euros per square meter in cities such as A Coruña or Murcia, to 2,000 and 2,500 euros in Madrid and Barcelona," says Manuel Fernández, CEO of Redpiso.