Industrial and distribution property sector flourishes in Kent
The 29th Kent Property Market Report (KPMR) reveals in excess of 500,000 sq m new industrial and distribution space is either under construction or has been granted planning permission across the county, with one particularly exciting 177,000 sq m project for Panattoni, the privately-owned industrial developer, in the pipeline.
This is a welcome boost to the local economy, property sector and hopefully, an indicator of jobs to come.
Launched on Wednesday 4th at a virtual event, Caxtons Chartered Surveyors researched and compiled the Report, which was produced in partnership with Kent County Council and Locate in Kent. Invited guests dialled in to watch the launch, amongst them property professionals, investors and sector specialists.
With the end of the Brexit transition period in sight, Caxtons’ Sue Foxley presented statistics that underpin how developers, speculators and businesses have all been preparing for a new way of operating, and why Kent has found itself benefitting from its location, just 20 miles from Europe.
Coronavirus has added to the chaos and caused global disruption to trade routes and worldwide economies alike. So, a double whammy of Brexit and coronavirus on future supply chain security has been at the forefront of this increased activity, bringing welcome investment in the county and sector.
Industrial / distribution space has always been at a premium in Kent, but more so in the past year. This has driven rental growth up by 14% in the space of 12-months.
Mark Coxon, Director and Head of Commercial Agency at Caxtons said “We are encouraged by the level of activity across the industrial and distribution sector, especially in relation to what is coming on stream.
“The pandemic and lockdown has brought about a 180 degree change in consumption habits, which together with Brexit, has resulted in a greater demand and a rush to secure premises.”
- Prime Business Park rents have risen 5% over the past 5-years with an annual 1% increase year-on-year. It is expected that the year ahead will prove challenging and that Covid-19 will leave its mark.
- Kent prime office rent has grown at roughly the same rate, increasing by 30% during the last 5-years, averaging out at 5.3% annually. Due to the pandemic and a lack of rental evidence the picture reflects data up to Q1 2020 and presents a stable market with, at that time, no great movement up or down.
- Covid-19 has proved extremely challenging for the retail sector, which has suffered in Kent as it has elsewhere in the country, although according to the Report, average prime Zone A retail rent has increased 0.5% year-on-year, over the last 5 years.
- Where the rural landscape is concerned, and according to information from Savills, they have seen a 50% Increase on pre-lockdown levels of website traffic searching for farms and estates in Kent.
- National residential sector values recorded an all-time high in August (Nationwide house price index) and this was confirmed by the Royal Institution of CharteredSurveyors in their Residential Market Survey – no-doubt helped by the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday for properties to £500K. Kent has seen some price growth with the best performance reflected in Dover, which saw a12-month increase of 2.1%. Rural areas in Kent, as elsewhere, have proved popular.
- Residential construction has recorded a number of new developments obtaining planning permission – which bodes well for the future – with more than 2,000 homes now completed at Ebbsfleet Garden City.
In summary Ron Roser, Chairman of Caxtons, was sanguine saying there was reason for optimism “…with investor confidence in logistics and distribution, healthcare and life sciences – all these industries are bucking the trend in Kent and beyond.”
Mark Coxon can be contacted on [email protected] or by phone on 01622 234886.