After years of decline, confidence has returned to the warehouse sector, which is set to become a long-term growth area, driven by a change in consumer habits and the structural shift in consumer spending to online.
As such, the increase in the number of distribution centres being built to meet the demands of online shoppers is set to continue, as is the conversion of existing warehouse space to meet demand.
Improving consumer confidence, a stronger economy and the continued demand for space from the e-commerce sector has seen total demand for warehousing floor-space across all regions improve with take-up rising.
With tight supply now a key characteristic of the UK warehouse market, developers have begun to address the lack of existing supply and the overall level of speculative development has increased in 2018, with the bulk of activity concentrated in the Midlands, London/South East and the North West.
Key drivers ought to be continuing growth in demand among online retailers and 3rd party logistics companies and parcel carriers and their requirement for new distribution centres to service the expansion in online shopping.
In the short-term, demand may probably increase among manufacturers for additional warehousing space close to factories in the event of a no-deal ‘Brexit’, particularly for perishable goods as demand food suppliers seek to stockpile supplies ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU.