New research from property consultant CBRE has found that more than 5.5 million sq ft of industrial and logistics space was let in the Midlands in the first half of 2016, a record.
The figures reflect take-up in the 100,000 sq ft+ market and represent more than 40 per cent of the country’s overall take-up.
According to Richard Meering, head of CBRE’s logistics and industrial agency team in Birmingham: “The Midlands is the ‘Mayfair’ of sheds. It is home to the country’s biggest warehousing units and the epicentre of its distribution network. This is reflected in the record levels of take-up we have seen so far this year and the consistent levels of commitment to the region.
“To put this year’s market into perspective, total take-up in the region for 2015 was circa seven million sq ft, so this has been a very healthy start to the year.”
Among the deals contributing to the 5.61 million sq ft total take-up in the Midlands were JLR’s commitment to a further 468,955 sq ft across two units at Prologis Park in Ryton, Coventry; retailer Ted Baker’s acquisition of 325,000 sq ft at Angle 325 at Derby Commercial Park, and Boden’s pre-letting of 275,220 sq ft at Wilson Bowden’s Optimus Point in Leicester.
The East Midlands accounted for 23 per cent of total UK take-up – the highest in the country, with the West Midlands taking second place with 19 per cent.
The high level of take-up has had an impact on stock levels. Availability of existing units, speculative stock and oven ready sites have all been significantly eroded.
According to CBRE, of the 1,926,193 sq ft of recently completed speculative stock, in the 100,000+ sq ft bracket, more than half is now either under offer or the subject of strong occupier interest. There is a further 1,872,438 sq ft of new space currently under construction, most of which has good interest.