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UK big box levels 'lower than ever'

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The chances of finding good new UK big box warehousing have never been lower, according to new data on vacancy levels.

The vacancy rate for UK big box warehouses has dropped to a new low of just 1.18% - well below the 3% usually regarded as necessary to allow the market to “churn” as occupiers move premises.

The data from CBRE shows that take-up of UK logistics space climbed to new highs of 22.56m sq ft in the first half of 2022. This is 10% up on the same time last year.

But the surge in online retail appears to be over. In the first six months of this year third-party logistics accounted for the largest percentage of take-up at 27.6%. Manufacturing accounted for 15%, followed by online retail at 13.6%. CBRE say this is a large decrease when compared with the first half of 2021, which saw online retail account for 42% of take-up.

Paul Farrow, Head of UK Logistics at CBRE said: “Over the last two years, online retail has been the dominant force behind the rising demand for logistics space as a result of the recent e-commerce boom. However, the pendulum has swung and the shift in both occupier type and regional spread of take-up shows the true depth of the UK logistics market.”

The data relates only to warehouses over 100,000 sq ft with an eaves height of more than 10 metres, reflecting the UK big box market.

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