Manufacturing growth could spark speculative development

A Midlands commercial property expert believes the growth in manufacturing could set the conditions needed for the return of speculative development.

David Penn, the managing director of Shortland Penn + Moore, said that market conditions are still tough – despite his own company seeing a sharp rise in turnover – and that improving fortunes in manufacturing and engineering meant industrial units are the most in demand.

In the second quarter of 2013, the company has sold or let 100,000 sq ft of industrial and warehouse space, which has contributed to a fall in available property stock of 11.3 per cent over the last year.

David said: “We expect our total deals on industrial and warehouse property to be up by 28 per cent in the current financial year and have also experienced around a 20 per cent increase in the average size of the units that we are dealing with.

“It is also interesting that we have seen a significant increase in the number of sales compared to lettings – 11 per cent up on this time last year.

“We do expect more development to come through on a build-to-suit basis as those with urgent and specific requirements will accept that a developer will not build without making a sensible profit and will have to accept the appropriate terms.

“With stock declining it is surely now only a matter of time before we see speculative development, although few developers – and their banks – appear keen to put their toes in the water just yet. That time must surely come soon.”

Shortland Penn + Moore has recently been instructed on three further industrial units across Coventry ranging from 33,865 sq ft to 49,782 sq ft.

At Padstow Road, off Torrington Avenue, the company is marketing a 49,782 sq ft warehouse/industrial unit, with a yard, to let. It offers good on-site parking and eaves heights of 6.75m.

A fully refurbished industrial unit of 38,211 sq ft, with yard of 0.54 acres, has been made available to let or for sale on a long leasehold at Curriers Close, off Charter Avenue.

And, at Rowley Drive, a 33,865 sq ft industrial property with offices is on the market for sale or to let. It offers three industrial bays, two acres of yard space and around 100 car parking spaces.