At 497,583 sq m in 17 units across Britain, the level of take-up in new units of 10,000 sq m and over in the first three months of 2006 reached the highest level recorded in the first quarter of any year over the past ten years, says King Sturge. This follows a relatively average year in 2005, when take-up reached 1.1 million sq m, compared with the ten-year annual average of 1.0 million sq m.
The first quarter of 2006 saw logistics companies dominate take-up. Accounting for 38 per cent of floorspace taken up in the first three months of 2006, logistics companies represent a significant market share after three years (2003-2005) when they represented a relatively marginal share of the market. Retailers remained a strong source of demand in the first quarter of 2006, with non-food retailers accounting for one-quarter (25.5 per cent) of all take-up and food retailers accounting for one-fifth (20.5 per cent) of the market.
The level of new logistics space available in units over 10,000 sq m continues to rise into 2006. At the end of Q1 2006, some 1.39 million sq m of floorspace was available in 52 newly completed buildings and in units under construction on a speculative basis. This represents an 84 per cent increase on the same period a year earlier, and an 11 per cent increase on six months ago. The continued development of “super sheds” is the main contributory factor to this increase. Although availability in units below 25,000 sq m has fallen over the past six months, both the total floorspace and number of units available in units over 25,000 sq m have risen.