NW industrial and logistics sector remained flat in first quarter, but expected to improve

World Freight Terminal

Take-up of industrial and logistics units across the North West was relatively flat in the first quarter of the year.

However, the sector is expected to pick up as the year progresses.

New analysis by property specialist Knight Frank has revealed that deals for 485,000 sq ft of space were agreed during the period, with just six over 50,000 sq ft.

The Manchester Knight Frank team delivered three of the deals – including the reassignment of a client’s existing lease in Haydock totalling 88,113 sq ft and two pre-lets totalling circa 200,000 sq ft at the World Freight Terminal at Manchester Airport.

Industrial partner, Sam Royle, said: “It’s been a great team effort securing these deals and whilst overall market take-up has been relatively flat there are many reasons to be positive, and with around 1.5 million sq ft of industrial space currently in solicitors’ hands we expect to see the region’s overall market statistics reflect higher levels of activity in the latter part of the year and fall in line with long term trends.”

Availability remains strong with approximately 6.9 million sq ft of space available including 14 big shed spaces of more than 200,000 sq ft.

A further 2.3 million sq ft is currently under construction.

Sam added: “Interestingly, there are pockets of available space in certain locations, for example we are currently tracking circa 1.7 million sq ft of existing and new build space along the M56 corridor heading towards the increasingly attractive hot spots of Ellesmere Port and the Wirral Peninusla where lower land values have attracted inward investment for speculative development over recent years.

“However, the increasing headline rents in more established locations, coupled with the improving market confidence in the logistics and industrial sector will start to help the affordability calculation and lead to more positive development appraisals and, ultimately, developer activity.”

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