UK economic growth and a resulting increase in GDP has led to strong business confidence in the area and e-tailers, particularly in the non-food sectors, have been a major demand driver. This, combined with a lack of development, has seen availability reach an all-time low.
The issue has been exacerbated by speculative developments in key strategic locations being delayed by complicated planning processes and a focus on the residential market. At last, the first speculative schemes for over a decade are now reaching completion and forward thinking local authorities have kick-started major development projects, such as Portsmouth City Council’s Dunsbury Hill and Southampton City Council’s recently approved detailed consent for Evander Properties’ South Central scheme, funded by Rockspring, to be built at Nursling in 2016.
Adrian Whitfield, director of industrial and logistics agency for Lambert Smith Hampton's Southampton office, comments: "Headline rents in the South Coast region exceeded pre-recession peaks in 2015. This was not unique to grade A space and also included growth in rental values for good quality second-hand warehouses in premium locations. Despite the uncertain economic news from China and the forthcoming referendum in June, the continued growth in e-commerce and unfulfilled occupier requirements remaining from 2015, all the indications are that 2016 promises to be buoyant for the industrial /logistics market in the Solent region. The key to success for occupiers and developers alike will be timing!"
The report features an overview of the occupier, investment and development markets, a focus on the key transactions of 2015 and comprehensive floor space statistics, along with a focus on the key schemes in development and a forecast for 2016.