Scottish warehouse demand holding strong, says Savills

The largest unit on the market, which Savills is marketing, is Lidls regional distribution centre at Deans Industrial Estate, Livingston. Picture: Contributed
The largest unit on the market, which Savills is marketing, is Lidls regional distribution centre at Deans Industrial Estate, Livingston. Picture: Contributed
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Demand for warehouse properties in Scotland is on the rise, registering the strongest performance in three years, new figures suggest.

Take-up in the first half of the year topped 360,966 square feet – the strongest start since 2016 – and representing a 180 per cent increase on the full-year figure for 2018, according to data from property firm Savills.

While take-up has been strong, it has predominantly consisted of second-hand units, the report noted, accounting for 67 per cent of all space transacted.

Some 90 per cent of the available units on the market are within the 100,000-200,000 sq ft size category.

The supply of larger units of more than 100,000 sq ft has fallen by 14 per cent since the end of 2018 and now stands at 1.48 million sq ft across ten separate units.

Ross Sinclair, director in the business space team at Savills in Glasgow, said: “While demand continues to remain firm occupiers seeking specific required features may find that the existing lower quality buildings might not be able to fulfil their needs.

“Unless speculative development comes forward we expect to see more occupiers opting for the build-to-suit route.”

The largest deal in the first half of 2019 was Malcolm Logistics acquiring 240,966 sq ft in Bathgate.

The largest unit on the market, which Savills is marketing, is Lidl’s regional distribution centre at Deans Industrial Estate, Livingston, comprising 291,710 sq ft, following the forthcoming relocation to its new 750,000 sq ft base at Eurocentral.

Meanwhile, Savills has posted falling half-year profits after Brexit uncertainty and political unrest in Hong Kong took their toll.

The group reported a 12 per cent fall in underlying pre-tax profits, on a constant currency basis, to £38.4 million for the six months to 30 June.