Market snapshot

Take-up has fallen, while rents remain steady

Take-up down by 11%
In 2012, take-up in the South West dropped 11% to 5.7m sq ft. Given take-up, at a national level, fell 25%, this represents a relatively small drop in activity. Meanwhile, the levels of grade A take-up increased by almost three times, whilst activity in the second hand market fell back.

Stable rents
Prime rents remained stable across the South West, although this masks movements in some of the regions, with Exeter registering falls of 7.4%, while Poole and Bournemouth saw values rise by 7.1%.

Falling availability

Availability reduced over the year, falling by 16% to 19.2m sq ft. There has been a slowing in the release of second hand stock onto the market, which has caused availability to contract significantly.

Availability rates
Availability in the South West fell to 6.1% from 7.2% in the previous year. The most significant tightening in supply was seen in Exeter, Plymouth and Swindon.

Key deals by size

Focus on Bristol

  • Take-up in Bristol remained steady in 2012 with 2.3m sq ft transacted, compared to 2.4m sq ft in 2011.
  • The 2012 figure is slightly below the five year average, with the number of transactions down on the previous year.
  • Large unit development remains focussed in the Avonmouth area. New facilities for Chep UK (50,000 sq ft) and the Co-Op (435,000 sq ft) completed in the year. Asda have also committed to a new 600,000 sq ft facility at the Bericote Rhodia site.
  • The other notable transaction was Yankee Candles 164,000 sq ft letting of the 4mation building, Cabot Park.
  • The first speculative scheme for years was launched in Bristol, whilst Longwell Green Trade Centre has attracted several national occupiers, due to the lack of new or good quality space.
  • The city continues to suffer from a dearth of development land outside of Avonmouth.
  • Landlords are focused on comprehensive refurbishment programs due to the lack in supply of new build and modern units.
  • The most noteworthy deal so far in 2013 is Culina’s leasehold acquisition of 211,000 sq ft within the Prologis-built Crossflow 550 unit in Avonmouth.


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