Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn I recommend visiting to read:%0A%0A {0} %0A%0A {1}

Insatiable Demand from E-Commerce Drives UK Logistics Take-Up to Record Levels

  • Online retailers accounted for nearly 40% of Q2 take-up volumes
  • Q2 2021 was the strongest quarter ever recorded with take-up reaching 19.4m sq ft
  • Availability has fallen to an all-time low placing upward pressure on rents
  • Investors have continued to pile into the sector with almost £6bn of investment taking place in H1 2021

Demand for UK logistics and industrial space shows no sign of slowing down as take-up in Q2 continued to be buoyed by insatiable demand from e-commerce. 

Online retailers accounted for nearly 40% of quarterly transaction volumes, according to latest data from Cushman & Wakefield, with take-up reaching 19.4 million during Q2, the strongest quarter ever recorded. 3PLs also remained extremely active, accounting for over 20% of quarterly and year-to-date take-up.

In a sign the market has shifted up a gear since the arrival of the pandemic, quarterly take-up has averaged over 15 million sq ft since Q2 last year, compared to the long-term average 8.3 million sq ft pre-pandemic. As a result, year-to-date take-up stands at 32.4 million sq ft, which is only marginally below the annual total average pre-COVID.

Yorkshire was the stand-out performer in Q2, with 5.5 million sq ft transacted during the quarter, including Amazon’s 2 million sq ft pre-let at Wakefield Hub. The Midlands also continued to register strong levels of activity, with over 4 million sq ft transacted in the East Midlands alone during Q2.  

Robust leasing activity has depleted availability to an all-time low of 54.4 million sq ft during Q2. Of this, 15 million is currently under offer plus another 14 million sq ft of pre-lets, taking the total amount of space under offer to 29 million sq ft. Exemplifying how tight the market is, there were no new buildings larger than 300,000 sq ft available for immediate occupation at the end of the quarter (excluding units under offer), meaning occupiers’ options at the larger end of the market will be restricted. 

Richard Evans, Head of UK Logistics and Industrial at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “The logistics sector continues to break new ground with record take-up levels fueled by the unstoppable rise of e-commerce. A lack of availability is likely to be exacerbated by ongoing construction material shortages which is hampering developers’ ability to respond to record levels of demand. As a result, the current acute demand-supply imbalance is likely to persist, placing further upward pressure on rents.”

Investors have continued to pile into the sector lured by healthy fundamentals and strong rental growth expectations. The quarter saw £3bn worth of investment, taking the H1 total to just under £6bn, more than double the £2.4bn registered over the same period last year. 
With over £4bn worth of assets available, under offer or at bids stage, volumes are on course to surpass £10bn in 2021 for the second time since records began.

Ed Cornwell, Logistics & Industrial Capital Markets Partner at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “Investor appetite remains strong with overseas investors accounting for 70% of all activity. In H1 2021, yields compressed by c.50 bps and we expect further inward yield movement during the second half of 2021. We estimate there is in excess of £20bn of capital wanting to invest into the sector. As a result, investors are seeking bigger lot sizes as well as looking at M&A opportunities.”



Richard Coleman, Head of Communications EMEA
Richard Coleman

Head of EMEA Communications • London

What's new

Mike Gorman
Cushman & Wakefield Continues Living Sector Expansion With Two Key UK Residential Capital Markets Hires

Cushman & Wakefield has announced two Residential Capital Markets hires in the UK as it continues to expand its Living sector team. 

Vikki McCrindle • 16/05/2024

25 Baker Street
Cushman & Wakefield Signs For New West End Office At Derwent London’s 25 Baker Street

Cushman & Wakefield has exchanged contracts on new office accommodation at 25 Baker Street, London, a brand new, Derwent London development. Baker Street will replace Portman Square as Cushman & Wakefield’s West End office from September 2025.

Richard Coleman • 08/05/2024

Gillian Bowman
Cushman & Wakefield’s UK Valuation & Advisory Team Welcomes Partner and Head of Sustainability

Gillian Bowman joins from Knight Frank to take on the role.

Vikki McCrindle • 01/05/2024



UK Self Storage Annual Report 2024

The Self Storage Association UK Annual Industry Report provides a comprehensive overview into the self storage sector.
Philip Macauley • 16/04/2024

Co-Living: In an ever-changing market, where do the hurdles and opportunities lie for the sector?

Despite initially emerging in scale in 2016, more than six years on, the co-living market remains in relative infancy. We explore the hurdles the co-living sector is up against and the potential opportunities on the horizon.
Smart Buildings
Research • Workplace

What Are Smart Buildings?

Smart buildings have increased in prominence in the past decade due to a culmination of changing work behaviours and an increase of information technology available within buildings.


Contact Our Team for a Personalized Consultation 
With your permission we and our partners would like to use cookies in order to access and record information and process personal data, such as unique identifiers and standard information sent by a device to ensure our website performs as expected, to develop and improve our products, and for advertising and insight purposes.

Alternatively click on More Options and select your preferences before providing or refusing consent. Some processing of your personal data may not require your consent, but you have a right to object to such processing.

You can change your preferences at any time by returning to this site or clicking on Cookies.
Agree and Close
These cookies ensure that our website performs as expected,for example website traffic load is balanced across our servers to prevent our website from crashing during particularly high usage.
These cookies allow our website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced features. These cookies do not gather any information about you that could be used for advertising or remember where you have been on the internet.
These cookies allow us to work with our marketing partners to understand which ads or links you have clicked on before arriving on our website or to help us make our advertising more relevant to you.
Agree All
Reject All