Midlands see boom in warehouse space take-up

The UK’s Midlands has seen unprecedented demand for warehousing. The region saw a 70% increase in take-up in 2016 by comparison to 2015 according to research by industrial estate agents Avison Young.

Year end figures showed that take up of Grade A facilities of over 100,000 square feet total 13.265 million square feet by comparison to 7.81 million square feet in 2015.

Included in the huge uplift is the pre-letting of a 1.1 million square foot facility to Amazon in Leicester. Other deals include Screwfix taking up a 551,000 square foot warehouse in Fradley Park and Great Bear taking up a 480,000 square foot warehouse in Markham Vale and finally Jaguar Land Rover taking up an 850,000 square foot site for a manufacturing plant in Wolverhampton.

The total number of deals in 2016 was 54 by comparison to 35 deals in 2015. There are 38 Grade A buildings left in the Midlands with a space of 7.17 million square foot. 60% of these are speculative builds. Based on 2016’s take-up this amounts to only six month’s supply of warehouse space.

“Tight supply is expected to lead to further speculative development activity, although the market is constrained by the number of prime ready-to-go sites,” said Robert Rae, principal and managing director at Avison Young.

“New development sites are predominantly on greenfield land and require lengthy promotion through the planning system and inevitably involve the introduction of complex infrastructure. This means that replacing this year’s take-up, which equates to 600 acres, will be challenging.”  
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