London faces massive warehouse shortfall

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According to research from Savills, London is set to require up to 6.49 million sq ft of warehouse space per year, a 419 per cent increase on current levels,  in order to keep up with the delivery of new homes in the capital.

The British Property Federation’s (BPF) ‘What Warehousing Where?’ report states that, at a national level, 69 sq ft of additional warehouse space will be needed per home in order to fulfil deliveries generated by the growth in online retail, which now accounts for as much as 21.4 per cent of all retail transactions in the UK.

Savills has calculated that in order to meet current demand for housing in the capital, London will need to build up to 94,000 homes per year. At present, based upon the five year average, only around 1.25 million sq ft  of industrial development is completed annually in London, suggesting a potential short fall of 5.24 million sq ft  of warehouse space a year.

Kevin Mofid, head of industrial research at Savills, said: “The delivery of additional homes in London will mean further warehouse space is needed to service them. The hinterland of London has traditionally seen a disproportional amount of warehouse space developed. As our population grows and shopping habits change  it is crucial to safeguard industrial development land as robust urban logistics networks are what allows us to continue to receive our next day deliveries and one-hour delivery slots.”

Bridget Outtrim, director in the industrial & logistics team, added: “It is definitely a step in the right direction that the GLA has recognised the importance of retaining industrial space in the city. However, these figures prove that we still have a long way to go. We now need to ensure that we are creating the right type of space which includes B8 distribution uses and a recognition of the importance of yard space so that we can continue to successfully service homes across the capital.”

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