How variable have been the responses to Brexit throughout the UK with the south coast market undermined during the summer.
Sentiment has improved but the damage can be assessed from Lambert Smith Hampton’s industrial market report. In the second quarter of the year, enquiries fell by13 to a total of 116, substantially down on the same period a year ago.
LSH’s Adrian Whitfield said: “The majority of the fall was in the 929 sq.metres (10,000 sq.ft.) requirement but, on a more positive note, we have seen an increase in enquiries for smaller units, driven by start-up businesses, satellite facilities, parcel operators and small distribution hubs”.
Whitfield suggests the short term problem was Brexit, but in the longer term it is the shortage of stock.
“As an example of this, we are aware of a distribution occupier looking for 27,870 sq.metres (300,000 sq.ft.) close to Southampton Docks, with the largest void in their search area an 11,613 sq.metres (125,000 sq.ft.) building that is not available for 3-6 months”, Whitfield said.
In fact, the take up in the second quarter, said LSH, of 63,201 sq.metres (680,316 sq.ft.), was an increase of 73% over January-March. The figures were bolstered by two large deals, at Dunsbury Hill and Voyager Park.
Whitfield said the lack of good second hand stock “and minimal speculative development are making pre lets the only option for large units”.
Fortunately, the development market is stirring into life with Barwood Capital and Taurus Developments starting construction soon on the 11,148 sq.metres (120,000 sq.ft.) Velocity on the 5 acre site of a former Pfizer distribution unit in Havant.
Hughes Ellard, Colliers International and CBRE are the letting agents.
Other major schemes cited by Whitfield are Peel Logistics’ scheme of three large units at Nursling and Mountpark’s 27 acre site near Southampton International Airport, Eastleigh.
In Dorset, Glenmore Business Park and the adjoining Blandford Trade Park are pulling in new occupiers even before construction starts. Dean Speer of letting agent Myddelton & Major (M&M) said: “The highly prominent site’s location speaks for itself as we have already pre let six units and there is only one unit available on Blandford Trade Park”. Glenmore, where a new development of 11 units is under construction, is being jointly marketed by M&M, Goadsby and Symonds & Sampson.