Amazon took 8.5m sq ft of new logistics floorspace in 2016, according to new data from Gerald Eve.
The online retailer accounted for 17% of the entire big box warehouse market, which achieved a record-breaking take-up of 50.6m sq ft during 2016.
The most active bricks-and-mortar retailer was supermarket chain Lidl, who signed up for 1.54m sq ft in the final quarter alone.
The last three months of 2016 were the busiest ever, with total take up of 13.9m sq ft.
As 2017 dawned, the supply of UK big box warehouse floorspace was at its lowest ever, says Gerald Eve. It predicts the crisis will get worse, due to a slowdown in the rate of speculative development.
The firm says: Even including the available speculative space under construction, overall availability rates decreased further to 6.2% and ended the year at the lowest level on our records.
“With 10 buildings totalling just over 1.5 million sq ft getting underway in Q4 2016, the number and volume of speculative development starts remain at levels which are comfortably in tandem with demand.
“The total volume of development starts, including purpose-builds, decreased by 43% in Q4, although there were still 22 buildings totalling 4.3 million sq ft which got underway and just under 20 million sq ft of space commenced development during the whole of 2016.”
Shortage of supply is expected to mean pressure for rising rents will not ease.