Demand for warehouses in the South West increases

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Demand for warehouses in the South West and industrial units is increasing as retailers move operations from the high street to out-of-town industrial estates. Our commercial Agency team have noticed that demand for warehousing has jumped during the Covid pandemic as online shopping has grown. Not only that, but there is a hunger for smaller work units too, as people set up businesses at home and then found they needed more space.

Warehouses in the South West

Will Oldrieve, head of Vickery Holman’s Truro agency, said that despite some issues caused by Brexit, the industrial property market has been “a top performer over the past 12 months”.

He said demand for warehouses in the South West has “significantly increased” for small and large units, although it stayed fairly static for medium-sized units in the 5,000-10,000sq ft range.

Above and below this range there is an appetite for space and Mr Oldrieve said: “Demand has always been high but the pandemic has pushed this particularly in the retail and logistics occupiers.

“We have seen a number of retailers swap the high street for industrial estates as online shopping has increased meaning a physical presence on a high street, or similar prominent position, is no longer critical but good access and efficient open workspaces are.

“The rise in online retail goes hand-in-hand with logistics and delivery businesses, so we have seen growth in this sector and some fairly large requirements in the market for good-quality distribution facilities of which there are a few options around.”

He added: “The lockdowns have pushed people to focus more on creating businesses that work from home, either out of boredom or necessity, and soon realised they did not have enough space at home so require a small workshop.

“On the other end of the scale there is good demand for very large units, 100,000sq ft-plus facilities, and we believe this is more supply driven as previously there has been no options available, but now a few opportunities are coming to the market, a number of large requirements are coming out of the woodwork, seeing a one-chance opportunity of securing a large facility, not knowing how long it will be before another will come along.”

There has been consistent lack of supply across the region particularly in the smaller unit sizes, which is particularly bad in Exeter where there are only 12 industrial units available on the market in March 2021.

To see what’s available in the South West, please look at our property checker. 

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