Shortage of good, modern warehouse space in the the East of England is revealed

Chris Moody, of Savills, Ipswich

Chris Moody, of Savills, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Call for new development particularly for the logistics industry

There is a severe shortage of new warehouse space for business to expand and grow in the east of England.

According to a report by Savills, in association with UK Warehousing Association (UKWA), the East of England has 17.6 million sq ft (1,639,257 sq m) of existing warehouse space, with a vacancy rate of only 6.4%.

The paper quantifies warehousing stock in the UK for the first time ever and highlights the critical lack of supply and development in the market.

The shortage of available stock in the East of England reflects a UK wide trend, with only 7.5% of the 424 million sq ft (39,390,889 sq m) existing warehouse space vacant.

Throughout the UK, supply stands at only 32 million sq ft (2,972,897 sq m), according to the research, of which 6.5 million sq ft (603,869 sq m) is classified as Grade C stock and not-fit-for purpose for today’s logistic requirements. The report shows 51% of take-up has been for build-to-suit units adding to the increasing scarcity of land in prime industrial locations.

The report also underlines the importance of the retail sector, which accounts for 35% of all stock, however the dominant industry in the region is transport accounting for 37%, whilst High Street retail is secondary at 32%.

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Chris Moody, director of industrial at Savills Ipswich, said: “The East of England continues to suffer from a lack of available modern and fit for purpose warehouse space and vacancy rates are one of the lowest in the UK - second to only London and the South East.

“Furthermore, with virtually no development in the pipeline, it has the potential to become a real pinch point for the industry in the region.

“This paper helps to frame the debate on the importance of logistics real estate to the sector and highlights what needs to be done to improve the situation going forward.”

Peter Ward, UKWA CEO, adds: “Policy makers must not overlook a fundamental factor for UK logistics to continue to thrive and to feed and clothe our people: the warehouse itself. This report reveals the true scope of the property challenge facing the logistics sector and UK plc.

“We call on policy makers, both nationally and locally, to acknowledge the importance of the logistics industry and to deliver policy which allows for the growth of the space required for our industry to continue delivering.”