The case for further, and larger, speculative industrial development in Yorkshire remains strong. Memories of over supply in the last cycle remain fresh in the mind for many, which is potentially acting as a barrier to more transactional activity in the market. But Savills research suggests that Yorkshire is able to accommodate further warehouse development.
In fact, the story to support speculative development is probably the strongest compared with any region in the UK, with average annual take-up in the Yorkshire region over the past five years reaching 3.35 million sq ft (311,215 sq m), beating the long-term average in each of these years.
Based upon analysis of the data going back to 2007, 65 per cent of all transactional activity has been for units above 200,000 sq ft (see chart below) and, excluding build to suit deals, the average size unit taken in 2016 was 210,000 sq ft (19,509 sq m).
Yorkshire take-up by size range
Moreover, total supply in Yorkshire, including the speculative development that has been announced, is just 2.8 million sq ft (260,120 sq m), less than one year’s worth of supply. Crucially, there isn’t a single Grade A building on the market, or planned, over 200,000 sq ft (18,580 sq m).
Analysing occupier demand for the last three years shows that 49 per cent of all enquiries in Yorkshire are for units over 200,000 sq ft. This section of the market can therefore only currently satisfy their requirements by commissioning build to suit units or by taking poorer quality ones.
Consequently, we think there is an opportunity for agile developers or funders to speculatively develop modern specification units in Yorkshire. There is an active occupier base that demands it.
Read more: Big Shed Briefing: Yorkshire & the Humber