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Gradual pick-up in occupier demand and take-up activity in 2013 will be evident as economic growth starts to take affect 

Say Jones Lang LaSalle in latest UK industrial research

London, 14th December 2012 – Latest Industrial and Logistics research released by Jones Lang LaSalle shows that the  total take-up of floorspace across GB in Q3 2012 (18.8m sq ft) fell by 15% compared with Q2, and was 22% lower than the same quarter a year ago.  In the first nine months of 2012 take-up totalled some 58.6m sq ft. 

Jon Sleeman, Industrial research director at Jones Lang LaSalle: “Total take-up in the first three quarters of 2012  was 20% lower than that recorded in in the same period last year, which reflects both fragile economic conditions and limited good quality supply in certain markets. Based on this evidence, we predict that the total level of take-up in 2012 overall is likely to undershoot last’s level  by around a fifth.“ 

At the end of September 2012, total available supply across GB stood at 332.8m sq ft, of which almost three-quarters was in units below 100,000 sq ft. Available supply was 0.7% lower than at the end of September 2011. Compared with recent levels of take-up, this equates to just over three years’ worth of demand.

Regionally the largest fall in availability in the six months to September 2012 was recorded in the East Midlands (-10.6%) whereas the largest increase was recorded Wales where availability rose by 8.3%. Nationally, 16% of total availability comprised new/refurbished stock for units from 1,000 to 99,999 sq ft.

As at November 2012 there was around 558,000 sq ft of industrial floorpace under construction speculatively in 13 schemes nationally. This is lower than recorded at May 2012 where approximately 783,000 sq ft was speculatively under construction and well down on the peak level recorded in mid-2007 – 15.5m sq ft. Around two-thirds of this floorspace under construction is in London.

Some £462m was invested in the UK industrial market in Q3 2012. At the start of December prime yields for multi-let estates were around 5.75% in London and the South East and 7.25% in the major regional markets.

Our Outlook for 2013

  • We anticipate a modest recovery in UK economic growth next year, although high personal debt , fiscal tightening and weak Eurozone growth will hinder UK growth prospects
  • We will see a gradual pick-up in occupier demand and take-up activity next year as the gradual economic growth starts to take affect 
  • With limited speculative development taking place nationally, the availability of prime new and good quality supply is likely to fall. However the availability of poorer quality supply will increase as occupiers release this space in favour of more modern properties.
  • There will be rental growth in the next 12 months, although this is likely to be confined to a small number of core markets, such as West London, parts of the Thames Valley ‘Western Corridor’ and certain prime regional markets
  • Investor demand for multi-let stock will continue to focus on prime stock particularly in London and the South East. We expect prime yields to remain unchanged in the short term with secondary yields expected to drift out further.

– ends –​