Greater Bristol on target for its highest annual logistics and industrial take-up in 15 years

Amazon, Central Park, Bristol

The Greater Bristol industrial market showed its resilience to 2020’s challenging market conditions and was the strongest performing sector across the region in the first half of 2021. In fact, the take-up for the first quarter of 2021 alone overtook figures for the first six months of 2020 and put the industrial and logistics sector on target for its highest annual take-up since 2006, according to Avison Young.

Subsequent total take-up for the first six months of 2021 in Greater Bristol totalled 1,402,391 sq ft and 130.69 acres transacted across 99 deals.

James Short, Avison Young comments, “This puts the market 125% ahead of last year and contributes to a record year for national take-up across the UK. Looking forward we are expecting this momentum to continue; with take-up rising, we will see headline rents increasing and incentives hardening.

“Business confidence in the sector continues to be robust which will lead to ongoing activity through the year. All this should provide confidence for the much-needed speculative development of units.”

The first quarter of 2021 saw no let-up in demand for industrial space in Greater Bristol. During this period, a total of 48 deals were recorded, in mainly multi-let terraces and smaller scale units, with only three transactions over 50,000 sq ft. The total take-up equated to 708,779 sq ft and 84.14 acres of land sold or let.

Key transactions in Q1 included unit G6 at Horizon 38 let to a healthcare products company; Huboo Internet fulfilment taking 56,225 sq ft at More +; a pre-letting of 107,600 sq ft to Yatton based Oxford Instruments at Western Approach Avonmouth; and the sale of 65 acres to Equation Properties for a new 1.1 million sq ft logistics park at Matrix 49, Severnside in conjunction with BentallGreenOak.

This strong activity continued into Q2, with a total of 693,612 sq ft and 46.55 acres transacted across 51 deals in Greater Bristol. This represents a 149% increase compared to the same period last year. The IAS figures were boosted with more mid-box transactions and two notable deals including 316,128 sq ft let to Amazon at Avonmouth, and the sale of 38 acres at Central Park to Tungsten Properties.

James continues, “In terms of new builds and what’s coming out of the ground, Avonmouth and Severnside remain the focus for activity, where Avison Young has been closely involved in the long-term successful growth of the region’s landmark developments.

“The advance spec build of Mountpark Bristol 360, is due to complete this month comprising 359,000 sq ft; Trebor are developing a 113,000 sq ft spec unit at Central Approach due in 2022; More + at Central Park will see a total of 382,835 sq ft constructed across 6 buildings, on track to complete in Q1 2022. St Modwen are constructing two more mid boxes that are due to complete in Q4 2021; and Tungsten Properties are planning to develop 80,000 sq ft and 240,000 sq ft units in phase 1 of a new scheme by Q3 2022. At Matrix 49, Equation Properties are developing 1.1m sq ft within three separate phases, available from Q2 2022.

“In summary, there is a vast spread of new employment development representing the potential for thousands of new jobs in South Gloucestershire and a boost to the whole economy of the region.”

James concludes, “The last twelve months have seen challenges across all market sectors, but these changing conditions and a structural shift in how we are shopping have resulted in a continued demand for logistics and warehouse space in the Greater Bristol area, adding to the economic resilience that we have seen across the region, and we expect that to continue for the foreseeable future.”