A total of 16.5million sq ft of logistic and industrial units above 50,000 sq ft was acquired for occupation in the first half of 2017, two per cent up on last year, according to the research from Knight Frank.
While this is 24 per cent below the level of take-up in H2 2016, it is still above the five-year average.
Charles Binks, head of logistics and industrial at Knight Frank said: “Given the snap General Election and on-going uncertainty surrounding Brexit, these figures are particularly encouraging, especially when taking into account supply and availability continue to decline and land available for industrial/logistics development remains in short supply particularly in Greater London, where land continues to be lost to other higher value uses.
“The outlook for the occupier market for the second half of 2017 is mixed, given the economic slowdown, increasing affordability issues beginning to constrain rental growth; however, slowing demand is masked by the lack of stock.
“Underlying trends driving the market are the shift to online retailing and the move to urban logistics although we have seen a surge in take up by manufactures. Internet sales are continuing to rise and now account for around 15 per cent of all retail sales in the country.
“The Midlands continued to dominate the market, with 32 per cent of total take-up coming from this area, followed by the North West and London & the South East, which together accounted for a further 30 per cent of take-up. Pre-lets represented a significant proportion of deals, with 35 per cent of UK wide take-up of units over 50,000 sq ft in this category in H1 2017,” said Binks.