Take-up of industrial space in the region rose by 63% year-on-year with nearly 4.6m sq ft of deals in 2018, according to Savills, but less than a year-and-a-half of supply remains.
The consultant’s Big Shed Briefing showed there were 23 industrial deals over 100,000 sq ft in the region last year, totalling 4.58m sq ft.
This is 63% higher than in 2017, and comfortably ahead of the long-term average of 3.65m sq ft, making 2018 a record year for larger industrial deals in the region.
Much of this take-up was for units between 100,000 sq ft and 200,000 sq ft, which accounted for 70% of the deals in the market.
The region’s largest deal was Movianto taking 373,000 sq ft at Haydock Green in St Helens. Other large deals last year include Royal Mail’s pre-let for 346,000 sq ft at Omega Warrington at a rent of £6.25/sq ft. St Modwen also secured a 200,000 sq ft deal with Burhill DCR Logistics at Moorgate Point in Knowsley last September.
There are only five units over 300,000 sq ft currently available for immediate occupation across the North West, with the only completed speculative unit being the 375,000 sq ft unit at Harworth’s Logistics North in Bolton.
According to Savills, this leaves around 1.3 years’ worth of grade A industrial space available in the region.
Major schemes in the pipeline include a 361,000 sq ft warehouse at Haydock, which has been backed by Tritax Big Box REIT, which is forward-funding the scheme in a £68m deal. Amazon is understood to be the occupier for this unit.
For larger units, the pipeline currently totals 1.55m sq ft across seven units.
There are, however, a number of large schemes moving through the planning process, including a refreshed plan by Peel for up to 800,000 sq ft at Knowsley Business Park; this was submitted late last month.
DB Symmetry is also bringing forward a 1.4m sq ft employment site off Junction 25 of the M6 in Wigan, with plans in place to start construction this year. The developer is also looking to develop a 125-acre site in Speke which could house 1.3m sq ft of industrial.