The amount of warehousing under speculative development rose 80% year-on-year to 20.7 million ft2 in 2021 according to property consultant Lambert Smith Hampton’s latest Industrial & Logistics report.
The surge in development was sparked by a renewed focus on expansion and future-proofing supply chains post-pandemic, which saw industrial occupiers securing 78 million ft2 [across all size ranges]in 2021, surpassing the previous record set in 2020 by 29%.
James Polson, national head of industrial & logistics at LSH, said: “Even against the backdrop of a stellar few years for the industrial and logistics market, 2021 will go down in history as the year in which just about every conceivable record was emphatically broken”.
Despite development on such an unprecedented scale, supply fell by 26% in 2021 to hit an all-time low of just 53 million ft2, equivalent to only 12 months’ average annual take-up.
James Polson added: “With over 50 million ft2 of active requirements across the UK, the main impediment to both occupier and investor activity is a critical lack of supply.”