It has been a testing period for the commercial property market in 2020, for the obvious reasons. Office, retail and hospitality sectors have suffered from the impact of COVID-19 and ever-changing government restrictions. The industrial and logistics sector has, however, proved extremely resilient throughout, which is hopefully a positive sign for the market and the economy as a whole.
The success of the big box market (warehouses in excess of 100,000 square feet) has been well publicised and is probably the only sector to have actually benefited from the upheaval of COVID-19, as a result of the significant increase in online retail sales. Statistics actually suggest a UK-wide vacancy rate of less than 5%, which has pushed rents on significantly. The smaller end of the industrial sector also got going quickly after the first lockdown period, as their operations are more naturally spread out.
In recent months, we are also pleased to report that the mid-box sector has also picked up, comprising circa 30,000 to 80,000 square feet. This market generally has growing local and regional operators, or larger UK/world businesses that prefer hubs. Despite everything that is going on in the world, particularly COVID-19 and Brexit, this sector is starting to grow in confidence, as we appear to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
There are some good examples of this in Northamptonshire. In a search and acquisition role, we have recently acted for MCC Labels in acquiring circa 50,000 square feet of space on Heartlands in Daventry. MCC are expanding their operation in the town. Another example is the letting of 40,000 square feet at Round Spinney in Northampton, where acting for the landlord we have let space to Keen & Able, a Northampton-based company that has taken the building as additional space to its existing operation.
We have also let circa 25,000 square feet to Ubbink, part of Centrotec SE Group, who are relocating from an existing facility in Northampton to underpin the company’s growth strategy.
So, not just positive thinking, but examples of increasing occupier confidence in both the market and Northamptonshire and the wider region. We have set out some examples of mid box opportunities we have on the market currently.
To discuss your business requirements, either as tenant or landlord, do not hesitate to contact Drake Commercial on 01604 620616.