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Industrial and logistic real estate in the UK - Statistics & Facts

It has been estimated that approximately 20 percent of all retail sales in the United Kingdom during 2019 were made online. In March 2020, just over 1.5 billion British pounds were spent through internet retail sales. With the continued growth of online sales, paired with the decline in high street and retail footfall, the need for prime industrial and logistic warehousing across the UK is prominent. During 2019, the United Kingdom saw the highest value of industrial and logistic real estate investment in Europe.

Prime yields on industrial and logistic property in the UK are some of the lowest across Europe. Calculated as a percentage, yields are a measure of a property's future income (return) on an investment. Although low yields may seem like a negative for investors, in terms of commercial property it most likely means that business is strong. Driven by customer confidence, demand, political and economical stability, yields are lower when demand is high. The higher the demand for property, the higher the cost of investment. In response to raised running costs, investors will boost rent to cover the increase in expenses. The demand for high-quality, well-located warehousing as well as a growing need for build-to-suit property means that in the UK yields and demand are likely to remain stable for the foreseeable future.

In the second half of 2019, prime rents for large warehouse units ranged from five British pounds per square foot to sixteen British pounds per square foot. The range of cost for smaller units was very similar. Driven by location and demand as well as construction and running costs, prime warehouse rents are highest in the London region. As one of the world’s busiest airports and a global distribution hub, London Heathrow had the highest prime rents in the UK.

Take-up, which includes new leases, renewals, expansions, and pre-lease deals is the volume of space leased during a given period. In the UK, take-up has remained strong since 2014. During the first three quarters of 2019, the manufacturing sector accounted for a third of take-up.

Other interesting statistics

Industrial and logistic real estate in the United Kingdom (UK)

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Prime rents

Secondary rents


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