Schroders has taken its UK real estate fund into the self-storage sector by buying a portfolio of assets with more than 230,000sqft of space for £44m (€48m).

The Schroder UK Real Estate Fund (SREF) bought the five properties, which are located around London and the M25 motorway, from The Self-Storage Company, Schroders said.

As part of the deal, SREF is also acquiring the The Self Storage Company brand and intellectual property and is retaining the company’s team to manage the portfolio, Schroders said.

Schroders said SREF was one of the first institutional investors to enter the self-storage market, which it described as “a major growth opportunity within the alternatives sector”.

The fund will look to expand the The Self Storage Company portfolio, acquiring more sites over the next few years.

James Lass, fund manager at SREF, said: “The growth in demand self-storage is inextricably linked to key demographic trends that are driving demand for real estate.

“The way we use space is changing like never before, and consumers are now increasingly looking for flexible storage, in response to shifting demographic trends, for a variety of different reasons.”