Demand for warehouses in overdrive as online sales increase

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Following today’s ONS retail sales figures, Rightmove, with the largest online commercial real estate (CRE) audience in the UK, reveals the increase in enquiries in the industrial and warehouse property sector:

· So far this year, there has been a record number of enquiries for industrial and warehousing, with total enquiries on freehold properties up by 108% compared to the same period in 2020, and total enquiries on leasehold properties up by 38%1

· The Rightmove Commercial Real Estate portal had its busiest ever day for visits this week on Tuesday 19th January, with over 138,000 visits in one day

· In December, the number of enquiries in industrial and warehousing outperformed all other sectors:

  • The number of people enquiring to buy a premises was up by 56% on December 2019
  • The number of people enquiring to lease a premises was up by 43% on December 2019
  • Across Q4, the annual increase in enquiries for freehold in this sector was highest in the South East (+85%), London (+84%) and the East Midlands (+77%)
  • Across Q4, the annual increase in enquiries for leasehold in this sector was highest in the South East (+38%), East of England (+37%) and the West Midlands (+32%)

· Despite the challenges on physical retail premises, enquiries are still higher than a year ago in all regions except London, for those looking to lease a retail outlet:

  • The number of people enquiring to lease a retail outlet was up by 36% on December 2019
  • Across Q4, the annual change in enquiries for retail outlets was highest in the East of England (+42%) and lowest in London, down by 1%

Alex Solomon, Director of Rightmove’s Commercial Real Estate portal, says: “Retailers have been adapting since the first lockdown last year to expand their online set-ups, and with that has come a change in what they want from a commercial property. There’s been a greater need for warehouses of all sizes to respond to the increased demand from people shopping online, which has led to demand in the industrial and warehousing sector going into overdrive. Agents are reporting an extremely high conversion rate from businesses enquiring for warehouse space, with new leases being agreed quickly. While enquiries for retail outlets are still higher than before the pandemic, the rate of conversion is slower, suggesting people are considering a relocation to another outlet or starting up a new business, but until there is more certainty around when non-essential retailers can open again this pace is likely to remain much slower than that of industrial spaces.”

Rightmove

Rightmove

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