It’s better up North…

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…believe me it is – especially if you are looking for Grade A shed space. A quirk of fate saw that the there was a huge over-supply of large speculatively built warehouses in South Yorkshire just at the time when the economy decided to go into high reverse.

For four years nothing much happened and I suspect the property agents were becoming a tad frazzled but now when all the other space has been snapped up elsewhere in the country Yorkshire is coming into its own again. I am not saying the region is a Hobson’s Choice merely stating the fact that in comparison to other regions there is an awful lot of immediately available Grade A space – something I fear that is becoming very rare indeed.

According to DTZ’s latest Property Times UK Industrial Q3 2012 report which covers the market for properties over 50,000 sq ft, the Yorkshire & Humberside region can boast 3.4 million sq ft while the North West can only dredge up 425,000 sq ft, the South West a mere 940,000 sq ft and the East Midlands just 1.4 million sq ft. In fact Yorkshire & Humberside now accounts for nearly 23 per cent of all Grade A stock in the country.

Rebecca Schofield of Knight Frank says: “Rents in South Yorkshire are more competitive than other locations and the region also boasts strong transport links and good labour, so we are hopeful tenants are taking note – and beginning to take advantage of these benefits.”

Recent lettings include the 750,000 sq ft Nimbus Park to The Range is the biggest warehouse letting in Yorkshire so far this year. The home and garden wares retailer has taken 750,431 sq ft on a 20-year full repairing and insuring lease and will use the facility, in Thorne, Doncaster, as one of its national distribution centres.

Window manufacturer Elbee relocated from West Yorkshire to Barnsley-based Ashroyd Business Park to a letting of 205,000 sq ft at Nexus 36 and Pharmaceutical company Galpharm took a 150,000 sq ft letting at Elmhirst in Barnsley following expansion, while Next took a 260,000 sq ft distribution centre at Redhouse Interchange in Doncaster.

Richard Harris of Jones Lang LaSalle: “Set against a back drop of an acute shortage of new Grade A space in some other parts of the country, industrial occupiers clearly have the option to look to Yorkshire to satisfy their requirements for existing good quality floor space.”

But like the rest of the country there is no speculative development to fill in the gaps once a Grade A warehouse is let and warehouses, even in South Yorkshire, are being snapped up left right and centre. For those lucky enough to require space in the region or who can take advantage of being footloose grab your bargains now for I fear that we’ll not see the like again for many a long year.

Liza Helps

Contributing Editor Property

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