Industrial Market Review

North West industrial and logistics market review

Following record annual take-up of 13.3m sq ft last year, the North West is continuing to witness strong occupier demand with half year figures up 16% on the same period last year. As the economy continues to improve, this robust activity is expected to continue into the second half of 2014. With an acute shortage of available grade A stock, we will see the return of larger scale speculative development in the region.

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In this issue:

Increase in occupier demand continues

Take-up across all sizes totalled 7.68m sq ft in H1 2014, a 16% increase on the same period last year.

Confidence is continuing to improve within the occupational sector however a resistance for long term commitments, except where freehold transactions are possible, remains apparent.

The activity associated with the JLR Plant at Halewood has monopolised availability in Liverpool but enquiries from this sector continue.

Due to the continued shortage of grade A stock, the build to suit market continues to lead the way in development.

While the provision of new build units below 20,000 sq ft continues, where grant funding is available there is still appetite for speculative development.

For a detailed breakdown of prime headline rents for H1 2014, please click here or on table 1 to the left of this article.

Key occupational transactions, H1 2014


(sq ft)

Landlord / Vendor

Tenant / Purchaser

(per sq ft)

Tetra Pack Site, Wrexham Ind Est, Wrexham 270,000 Tetra Pack Mainetti


Pegasus, Birdhall Lane, Cheadle 194,607 Royal London Asset Management European Glass Group


Expressway 56, Deeside Industrial Estate 162,116 M&G Real Estate Mayr-Melnhof Packaging £3.97
Boulevard Business Park, Speke, Liverpool 140,000 Novartis Astra Zenica


M3, Heywood Distribution Centre 133,145 Harbert Management Corporation Foot Asylum


Tameside 115, Tameside Park 115,101 Mayfair Capital Ritrama UK


Maximus, Winsford Industrial Estate, Road One, Winsford 105,059 AXA Real Estate  Tiger Trailors LLP


L1 – L3 Lyntown Trading Estate, Eccles 80,097 Coal Pension Properties LSE Retail Group


Source: Lambert Smith Hampton

Supply of prime stock remains constrained

Peel Logistics is a new entrant to the market with a substantial land bank following the amalgamation of Peel Land, Peel Ports and Harworth Estates land banks.

There are now only four grade A buildings which are fully available on the market, Onyx 380 in Runcorn, Lancashire Business Park in Leyland, MW180 in Middlewich and Crossflow 380, Crewe.

With further large scale pre-lets, the supply of good quality serviced sites will start to look constrained.

The small unit sector is set to see a slight increase in levels of supply as a number of speculative developments commence within the second half of the year.

For a detailed breakdown of key grade A availability for H1 2014, please click here or on table 3 to the left of this article.

Predictions for H2 2014

On the back of growing demand, an acute shortage of prime stock within the region and the renewed availability of funding, we expect to see a number of speculative developments commence.

Graftongate will shortly announce the acquisition of c.4 acres at Hareshill, Heywood from Peel Logistics to build a 90,000 sq ft speculative warehouse in 2015

There will be an announcement of a large scale build to suit development for Hut Group in Warrington.

We could also see the first announcements of sizeable speculative development in Rochdale and Knowsley.

As landlords become more confident with reducing voids, incentives for prime stock and the potential for rental growth will continue to harden.

For a detailed breakdown of take-up for H1 2014, please click here or on table 4 to the left of this article.

Industrial investment market builds momentum

After an initial slow start to the year, the industrial investment market across the North West has begun to pick up pace.

Total investment volumes rose by 194% to £181.5m in H1 2014, compared with £61.7m in H1 2013.

The most notable transactions took place in Q2 2014, these include:

Fidelity UK Real Estate Fund’s acquisition of the 360,000 sq ft warehouse at Martland Park, Wigan which was a sale and leaseback to Sports Direct for £21.2m reflecting a net initial yield of 8.7%.

Clearbell Capital LLP’s purchase of an industrial portfolio from Pin Properties for £18.4m reflecting a net initial yield of 9.47%. This comprised three assets including Bury Point in Radcliffe, Broadgate Point in Chadderton and the Ebay Enterprises unit at Runcorn.

To view our latest UK Investment Transactions (UKIT) report, please click here.



Size range
(sq ft)

Small units


Medium units


Mid box 


Large units / distribution warehouses


Source: Lambert Smith Hampton


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