A total of 425 professionals, including more than a quarter of occupiers, took part in the first-ever census this summer initiated by db symmetry, to have their say on their experiences in 2017 and their expectations for the next 12 months.
With the high of 2016, and its record take-up and investment, results show that we can look forward to further growth in our industry with;
Given the optimism of occupiers in needing greater space requirements over the next 12 months, their preference in terms of locations was evenly split, with an eye on extending existing sites, and locating to the golden triangle, the M1 & M6 corridors, Greater London and Heathrow. While the availability of labour was not the biggest issue impacting occupiers, they ranked the uncertainty of Brexit (41%), increasing operating costs (50%) and the state of the retail market (34%) as the biggest concerns facing them. However despite these challenges, occupiers’ confidence is shared by all respondents including the majority of developers and landowners, 47% of whom said they had increased their landbanks in the past six months.
For developers and landowners, the biggest challenges facing them is the lack of development sites, the length of the planning process, with power supply to potential new schemes being a primary focus due to the growing influence of technology in the running of modern industrial and logistics facilities. Warehouse automation (71%), warehouse robotics (68%) and predictable analytics (60%) are expected to have the most technological impact on the sector.
This all means that the industrial and logistics sector remains a hotbed for investment, with the majority of investors and asset managers believing that investment levels will at least remain the same this year, compared with the record-breaking volumes achieved in 2016.
Overall these findings make for reassuring reading and show that developers, landowners, occupiers, agents and investors can look forward to another record-breaking 12 months ahead.