In­dus­try picks up as mar­ket gets mov­ing once again

The mov­ing busi­ness is boom­ing thanks to a rise in rentals and lack of stor­age space in mod­ern homes. Sharon Dale re­ports

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

THE prop­erty mar­ket is mov­ing again af­ter a long five years in the dol­drums, which means re­moval men and women could be in for an even busier time.

For while many com­pa­nies have stag­nated dur­ing the re­ces­sion, some re­moval firms have ex­pe­ri­enced an up­turn in busi­ness.

McCarthy’s Re­movals and Stor­age, based in Leeds and Har­ro­gate, which has been run as a suc­cess­ful fam­ily firm for over 40 years, say the boom­ing rental mar­ket has kept them rushed off their feet.

The num­ber of peo­ple in rented ac­com­mo­da­tion has rock­eted to 8.5 mil­lion and the aver­age te­nancy lasts just 18 months, which means lots more mov­ing. Owner oc­cu­piers flit ev­ery seven years, on aver­age.

McCarthy’s also re­port that more own­ers are sell­ing up to move into rented prop­erty tem­po­rar­ily so they can be in a prime po­si­tion to buy a new home and present them­selves as chain free cash buy­ers. This means two moves in quick suc­ces­sion with an ad­di­tional need for stor­age.

And it is the stor­age side of the busi­ness which is re­ally tak­ing off, ac­cord­ing to the Self Stor­age As­so­ci­a­tion, which has grown con­sis­tently by be­tween eight and 15 per cent over the last five years.

In fact, it claims the UK now has as many self stor­age fa­cil­i­ties as it does McDon­ald’s restau­rants – around 1,200 – and the to­tal area of self stor­age floor space in the UK adds up to a stag­ger­ing 40 mil­lion sq ft. That’s more than 520 Wem­b­ley-size football pitches.

Mike McCarthy, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of McCarthy’s, ex­plains the typ­i­cal self-stor­age fa­cil­ity cus­tomer:

“In terms of the num­ber of cus­tomers the di­vide is roughly two-thirds pri­vate to one-third busi­ness.

“Big com­pa­nies of­ten need stor­age, but the rise of in­ter­net com­pa­nies and en­trepreneurs work­ing from their spare bed­room also means there are lots of smaller busi­nesses with­out any­where to keep stock.”

He adds: “In the do­mes­tic mar­ket, self-stor­age is used by all kinds of peo­ple, al­though cus­tomers of­ten seem be in their thir­ties or for­ties. I think its rise in pop­u­lar­ity is for a num­ber of rea­sons.

“Peo­ple look­ing to sell their prop­erty in this dif­fi­cult cli­mate are fol­low­ing the ad­vice to de­clut­ter, putting un­nec­es­sary items in stor­age.

“We see fam­i­lies who are sep­a­rat­ing and there­fore down­siz­ing, or older cou­ples mak­ing changes when chil­dren have flown the nest.

“Or we see cou­ples mov­ing in to­gether who have both pre­vi­ously had properties, re­sult­ing in too much fur­ni­ture for one home.

“Along­side all of those spurs are the facts that new houses have re­duced in size over the last 30 years, and that more peo­ple are con­vert­ing their lofts and garages, rather than mov­ing house, los­ing what stor­age they did have. The aver­age home can seem fit to burst.

“And af­ter all, it is sub­stan­tially cheaper to use a stor­age fa­cil­ity than buy or rent a big­ger house, and there are no ties, it’s se­cure and you can still have 24-hour ac­cess to your stuff.”

If you’re pack­ing up and pos­si­bly look­ing to store for a while, here are some top tips from the ex­perts at McCarthy’s:

Get the right size of stor­age – there’s no point pay­ing for more than you are likely to need, or find­ing you can’t fit ev­ery­thing in. Units range from the size of phone box to a ten­nis court.

When wrap­ping break­ables, pa­per will do fine, but bub­ble wrap can be used re­peat­edly, and makes iden­ti­fy­ing contents eas­ier. We can sup­ply all the mov­ing es­sen­tials you might need, such as boxes, tape and bub­ble wrap. Don’t be tempted to use printed news­pa­per – the ink gets every­where.

Bust Out Your Tetris Skills – even the small­est stor­age unit can hold a great deal, if you use the space wisely. This means pack­ing things all the way to the ceil­ing, stor­ing so­fas and mat­tresses on end, and stack­ing chairs pad-topad.

In­te­ri­ors of ap­pli­ances can also be filled with linens, clothes and stuffed toys.

Label, label, label - Even though you know ex­actly what you’re putting in at the time, it doesn’t mean in six months you’ll have a clue.

If you’re de­clut­ter­ing or pack­ing up fo­cus on one room at a time. Tak­ing on sev­eral rooms at once can feel over­whelm­ing and cre­ate more mess.

As well as a va­ri­ety of sizes, there are also many dif­fer­ent types of stor­age units. Do you need 24-hour ac­cess? Do you want to be able to drive di­rectly up to your unit?

Make sure you feel happy with se­cu­rity. Are there en­try pin codes and cam­eras as you ap­proach the build­ing? Do you have your own lock and key for your unit?

When de­clut­ter­ing or down­siz­ing, con­sider us­ing stor­age as a time-limited trial sep­a­ra­tion from your items. If you don’t miss it or need to re­trieve it, are you likely to ever need it again? Be ruth­less and it could pay off. You can sell what you don’t need on eBay and make some ex­tra money.

COUN­TRY CHARM: Both Vine and Pear Tree cot­tages have been trans­formed into beau­ti­ful homes with the help of skilled his­toric build­ing spe­cial­ists and the crafts­men. The properties are set in the two-and-a-half acres on the edge of the Ow­ston Hall coun­try house ho­tel’s 150 acre es­tate and golf course.

CUP­BOARD LOVE: A move to­wards rent­ing is pro­vid­ing more busi­ness for re­movals firms.

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