30 Nov 2020
Legal & General acquires two self storage assets, adding c.100,000 sq. ft. to its rapidly growing portfolio
LGIM Real Assets (Legal & General) continues to build and diversify its real estate portfolio with the acquisition of two purpose built operational self storage assets in Bury and Lichfield, providing over 92,000 sq. ft. of combined lettable space. These transactions demonstrate a continued focus on investing in operational assets, and follow a year of acquisitions and developments for its self storage portfolio
The self storage sector in the UK has grown significantly in recent years, and today it makes up 41% of the European self storage market1. Recent findings show that whilst there are now approximately 1,900 self storage sites in the UK2, only 35% of these are purpose built - representing a significant opportunity for investors.
Since entering the market last year, LGIM Real Assets has rapidly expanded its self storage portfolio with operational assets in Cannock, Northwich, Bolton, Stafford, Bury and Lichfield, and development sites in Wokingham and York. Today, its portfolio exceeds 365,000 sq. ft. of assets in operation or development, with ambitions to deliver a further 270,000 sq. ft. by 2022.
Whilst the coronavirus pandemic has created challenges and driven secular changes across areas of the real estate sector, self storage has shown strong performance throughout, demonstrating continued demand for high quality, well located purpose built self storage assets. Across the Real Assets operational portfolio, occupancy has remained strongly in line with the business plan throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with enquiries and lettings reverting to pre Covid levels by Q3 2020.
At present, all of Legal & General’s operational self storage assets are managed by Surestore. LGIM Real Assets continues to work successfully alongside Surestore, which has been significant to its rapid growth within the sector.
The acquisition of the SureStore self storage assets in Bury and Lichfield were made by Legal & General’s Industrial Property Investment Fund (IPIF), which is valued at over £2.3 billion and specialises in multi-let industrial and trade assets alongside its growing self storage portfolio. Bury and Lichfield will continue to be managed by Legal & General’s storage partner SureStore Management Services. JLL brokered the sales in Bury and Lichfield, taking the total assets within the Surestore pipeline sold to six.
Led by our in-house self storage experts Jessica Cunningham and Matthew Lilley, we continue to look for opportunities to acquire operational facilities and development sites, alongside repurposing underutilised assets within our own real estate portfolio. Recent development plans include; repositioning prominent industrial sites, partial repurposing of retail parks and progressing mixed use self storage anchored schemes. Together, these are expected to provide resilient and diversified income streams on assets across multiple funds, further enhancing our portfolio.
Michael Barrie, Director of Fund Management, LGIM Real Assets