Western Corridor industrial take-up hits record in 2017

By Paul Norman - Monday, March 12, 2018 7:38

Approximately 5.6m sq ft of industrial floorspace was taken-up across the Western Corridor in 2017, one of the highest levels of take-up on record, reports JLL.

Around 3.3m sq ft was transacted in West London and the remaining 2.3m sq ft taken-up in the Thames Valley. Take-up in 2017 matched the level of demand recorded in 2016 and was 6% higher than the five-year average from 2013 to 2017 (5.2m sq ft).

Melinda Cross, director JLL Industrial & Logistics Heathrow/West London, said: “During 2017, JLL’s Industrial & Logistics Heathrow/West team transacted 1.968m sq ft across 92 deals. The level of Western Corridor demand recorded last year was one of the highest on record and was only surpassed in 2011 when two large big box transactions boosted overall take-up. 2017 represented a more robust level of requirement from the smaller end of the market. The average size of unit taken up in 2017 totalled 12,695 sq ft slightly up on 2016 when the average size of unit taken up was 12,126 sq ft.”

JLL noted that take-up in 2017 was 4% higher in West London compared with 2016 but 6% lower in the Thames Valley over the same period.

Raphaële Naud, research analyst, JLL, added: “We remain positive about 2018 because we are confident that demand for smaller industrial units will continue to drive take-up levels across the Western Corridor. Economic and political headwinds could potentially slowdown occupier decision making in 2018 but we believe that demand has the potential to match the five-year average and once again total over 5 million sq ft this year.”

At the end of 2017 there was around 7.9m sq ft of industrial floorspace available in the market. This was 9% higher than at the end of 2016: 4.9 million sq ft was available in West London and 3m sq ft was available in the Thames Valley. The pick-up in supply was a result of new speculative development taking place across the Corridor, particularly some new big box units being developed around Heathrow Airport and a couple of larger second-hand units coming back onto the market.

Melinda Cross concluded: “On balance, we expect available supply in the Corridor to fall over the next 12 months as the demand remains strong for both new speculative floorspace coming on to the market and older stock.”


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