Industrial unit take-up in South Yorkshire soars in second half

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South Yorkshire witnessed a surge in the take-up of large industrial units in the second half of 2013.

The 625,000 sq ft lease at Sheffield International Rail Freight Terminal to Marks & Spencer led the large deals during the second half of 2013, according to Knight Frank’s LOGIC report.

The take-up of industrial units above 50,000 sq ft, which totalled 1.13m sq ft was more than three times the total for the first half of the year.

Rebecca Schofield, partner at the Sheffield office of Knight Frank, said: “The results for the second half of 2013 showed South Yorkshire performing well for take-up of larger units, which was underpinned by the M&S letting.

“This is primarily due to the available supply of larger units compared to other regions in the UK, which has focused occupiers attention to the area. There is now significant pressure on industrial unit supply across the region. The situation is arguably most acute with regard to small to medium sized units, typically sub 25,000 sq ft.”

The parcel distribution sector continues to be a key source of demand, according to the report.

MS Schofield added that investment demand for industrial stock improved markedly in the region during the period, particularly from overseas investors.

It comes after Mike Baugh, industrial director at CBRE, warned the availability of ‘oven-ready’ sites in Yorkshire was becoming increasingly limited now with only two large opportunities available – 550,000 sq ft at Sherburn Distribution Park and 413,000 sq ft in Sheffield.

He added: “There is healthy interest in distribution space across Yorkshire, particularly from third-party logistics providers. With SIRFT no longer an option, we may see remaining space start to move more speedily during the first half of the year.”