The record activity was rooted in industrial and specialist sectors and is likely that the structural shift towards flexible, ‘on-demand’ occupier solutions is here to stay. To characterise the fundamental change in the traditional landlord and tenant relationship, think of how to accommodate tech start-ups, the rise in self-employment and micro-businesses.
With flexibility a new norm, investors that can partner successfully with best in class operators will continue to outperform the traditional model.
Indicators from other sectors also flag how the digital economy is altering market fundamentals.
The groundswell of demand for retail warehouses, reflects the structural changes in shopping patterns, whilst retail has suffered another disappointing quarter in Q1.
The local economy is expecting to benefit from the reduction of the Severn crossings toll for HGVs, and it’s thought that eventual abolition of the toll could add £100m a year to the south Wales’ economy.
Yet overall, it is likely that polarisation will characterise the rest of the year. Investors willing to provide high quality space with flexible terms will have a competitive edge.