Industrial property take up in Wales rises to 3.49m sq ft in 2021

A strong final quarter of the year saw the take up of industrial property over 50,000 sq ft in Wales reach 3.49m sq ft in 2021 – up from 2.74m sq ft in 2020, and 2.5 times the amount transacted in 2019, according to research from Knight Frank.

The global property consultancy reported that 1.84 million sq ft of industrial units of 50,000 sq ft and over was transacted in Wales in Quarter 4 (Q4).

Neil Francis, head of Logistics & Industrial at Knight Frank in Cardiff, said: “The figures were boosted by the sale of 1 million sq ft at QRL, Imperial Park, Newport and overall there were equal numbers of sales and lettings, with a mix of warehousing, distribution and manufacturing.

“The strong finish to the year has helped to boost the five-year average take up to 2.37 million sq ft.”

In addition to the sale of QRL the headline leasing transaction was the letting of the new build 102,000 sq ft unit at St Modwen Park, Newport, where Genpower has agreed a 10-year lease at a rent of £6.25 per sq ft. After fitting out, the unit will form the heart of the company’s distribution network.

“In addition, Unit 2, measuring 31,000 sq ft, has been let on a new 10-year lease,” said Neil Francis. “This has provided St Modwen with the confidence to progress with the next phase of development whilst also continuing dialogue with a number of occupiers seeking 100,000 sq ft plus Build to Suit options.

“It is also pleasing to see sales of 130,000 sq ft in Bridgend Industrial Estate and 114,000 sq ft in Aberdare to owner occupiers looking to expand their presence within the area. “

The new Knight Frank report showed that availability of units over 50,000 sq ft now stands at circa 4 million sq ft in the quarter.  Neil Francis said: “With Ford at Bridgend accounting for 1.6 million sq ft of this space, it is clear that stock levels of larger buildings is now the lowest it has been for many years.

Looking ahead, Neil Francis said: “This has been a fantastic year for the industrial market in Wales. There remains a great level and demand, although sadly the lack of good quality stock may result in less take up next year. However, on the positive side Ford will be formally marketed early in 2022 and this will be well received by occupiers and investors.