More than £500m of investment deals were completed in the first of 2022 with lettings of large units up by a quarter, according to specialist agent B8 Real Estate.
The firm's Market Update shows that 39 investment deals with a total value of £505m completed during the six months – 26 per cent lower than last year's record first half, but still 24 per cent above the five-year average.
More than a fifth of all investment (£110m) was for speculative developments, with investors' appetite for such schemes reaching a record high during the early months of the year.
Meanwhile lettings of 'big box' units (more than 90,000 sq ft) totalled 4.19m sq ft - 25 per cent higher than the same period last year. With only two new-build speculative units immediately available, supply is still failing to keep up with demand, which is continuing to push up rents.
Smaller units also experienced record rental growth, with rents on second-hand units edging closer to those of new-builds due to lack of supply.
Key investment deals in the first half included the sale of Artis Park, Winsford, to The Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation for more than £22m; Mileway’s £10m acquisition of Southside Bredbury; the £101m investment by Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust to fund a new Peugeot distribution centre in Ellesmere Port; and the £19m acquisition of Rhodes Business Park in Middleton by Oxenwood.
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