Our investment strategy is reinforced by strong structural tailwinds.
There is a fundamental imbalance between the supply of high quality, mid box urban logistics assets. And the demand for such buildings.
This imbalance pushes rental rates higher, particularly for well located assets on the UK’s major transport routes.
We remain able to acquire assets in “off market” trades where vendors sometimes prefer the certainty that we bring through a strong strong reputation in the market. The vast majority of our acquisitions since IPO have been “off market” which is testament to our connections within the logistics sector and our reputation for swift and certain deal execution.
WAREHOUSE SUPPLY AT LOW LEVELS
Structurally low vacancy rates in the UK is compounded through a lack of supply caused by a variety of factors, but notably:
- high barriers to entry as a result of a high percentage of warehouse development land being taken for “Big Box” units (those above 300,000 sq ft); plus a time lag of three to five years for sites to obtain planning and then be built;
- costs of construction rising (100,000 sq ft building at £30-35 per sq ft in 2015 and now at £100-150 per sq ft in the Midlands);
- development land costs doubling in five years (Northampton, for example: £400,000 an acre in 2015 and now at more than £900,000 an acre); and
- 35% of all industrial land in the South East of the UK has been lost to higher value uses in last ten years.
DEMAND AT RECORD LEVELS
In 2022, for the first time it was mid box logistics assets which saw the highest levels of take up in the market. This take up is driven by 3PLs, especially for high quality parcel units, but online retailers have also driven up demand, as well as onshoring supply chains required by Brexit and a more fragmented and complex international trade market.
Lack of new, ready-to-occupy units has also pushed occupiers towards the second-hand market. Recent increases in land and build costs, combined with a higher interest rate environment have reduced supply of new build stock, meaning, demand dynamics remain highly imbalanced, which plays in our favour.