Forget double garages, buyers now have an appetite for high-end, high-security storage facilities that come with a car wash and more space than a house.

As land prices in Sydney and Melbourne surge further out of reach and new homes lack room to keep large items such as boats, cars or pool tables, downsizers and investors are snapping up off-the-plan storage sites to house their prized possessions.

Advertised as ‘man caves’, these high-end units can be up to 500 square metres in size, putting the average garden shed to shame.

In Cromer, on Sydney’s northern beaches, Novak Properties is selling ‘Super Storage vaults’ starting at $115,000 for 20 square metres, while the largest units are 350 square metres.

Agent Michael Burgio said most of the buyers lived nearby.

“Where else on the beaches can you buy a block of land for just over $100,000?” he said.

“They’re popular with investors looking for something entry level in the commercial market, and there’s basically no maintenance on these, they’re brand new.

“The units are 5.2 metres high, so they’re popular with tradies who want to be able to get a ute or a truck in and build a mezzanine level for storage.”

Mr Burgio said that storage was in high demand on the northern beaches.

“We sell off-the-plan units and a lot of the feedback from people was that they are downsizing, but they’re buying in developments that have no storage. So we could see there was a demand there.”

Construction on the project is underway and due to be completed in 12 months, with the first round of units already sold.

In Melbourne’s Moorabbin, DBRE is constructing 67 ‘Mancave Storage’ units, a third of which have sold.

While you can’t stay the night, there’s an onsite carwash and three community zones each featuring a kitchenette, showers and male and female toilets. It’s secure, with 24-hour CCTV cameras and an onsite manager.

A spokesperson from DBRE told Commercial Real Estate there had long been demand for a larger and more prestige storage complex in Melbourne.

“The majority of people are from Melbourne’s bayside suburbs, we’re hoping that people downsizing in the south east will come in, there are a lot of people who’d like to be able to store multiple cars.

“A lot of the buyers so far have been car people, including racing drivers, and they can talk and hang out down there and there will be a cafe opening up. It’s a bit of a community.”

Providing they adhere to council regulations, ”man cave” owners can customise the units, with some already putting in carpeting and kitchenettes.