The Northamptonshire market has shown the nature of its core businesses over the first half of 2017. Confidence has been strong from industrial and warehouse occupiers, whereas the office market has been far more cautious.
Drake Commercial figures suggest that in Northampton alone, just less than 760,000 sq ft of industrial, warehouse and logistics space were taken between January-June 2017. Of this there were only two deals in excess of 100,000 sq ft, which suggests the smaller and midsized companies have been very active.
There was much uncertainty after the EU referendum vote and the snap general election did little to reassure businesses. Despite this however, local and regional occupiers have continued to be active and confident in both the localised and wider UK economy.
A good example of this mid-sized activity that Drake Commercial were involved in was the letting of circa 20,000 sq ft at Round Spinney to Seabourne Group, who are a multinational logistics company with strong presence in the county. The location for logistics and warehousing companies has been long established but these operations have continued to grow throughout Northamptonshire.
In the wider county, Daventry has also performed extremely well. Daventry is considered a much smaller market than many of its neighbouring towns but in the first six months of the year Drake Commercial figures suggest there has been over 500,000 sq ft of take up for industrial and warehouse space. It has to be admitted that this figure is slightly skewed by the large deal agreed by Prologis at Apex Park, but none the less take up has been very positive.
In comparison to this positivity, the office market has been far quieter. Not that there is too much call for doom and gloom, established and growing office occupiers are certainly in the market, but decision making remains cautious, particularly as they await to learn the terms of the Brexit deal.
The performance of the occupational market is also backed up by investment take up. Figures from Savills suggest that investment volumes into UK commercial property were 1% higher in the first half of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016, with £27.2 billion worth of UK transactions.
This all has a very familiar feel about it. 2016 showed a positive start to the year, before the Brexit vote worried the markets and the summer months demonstrated a slowdown, before businesses returned in the autumn and pressed on again. Figures suggest the first half of 2017 actually performed better than the same period in 2016, particularly on the industrial side but the general election outcome has seen a quieter summer period. If the pattern is similar to the previous year, we look forward to a busy autumn as local and UK operators return and progress their operations.
To discuss your commercial property requirements please contact Drake Commercial on 01604 620616 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Drake, Partner. August 2017.