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Industrial take-up for Q2 2013 continued to perform strongly with over 660,000 sq.ft. of industrial space transacted across 43 deals. This is a 19% increase on last quarter, and was boosted by 5 large transactions greater than 40,000 sq.ft. These top 5 transactions, which totalled 316,536 sq.ft., accounted for 48% of total take-up. In the year-to-date, there has been 1.2m sq.ft. transacted which is a 36% increase on the same point last year.
Lettings continue to dominate demand, however the spilt was more even this quarter with 51% of take-up for lettings compared to 49% for sales. There were two large sales greater than 50,000 sq.ft. which helped to boost sales volumes this quarter. The uplift in sales activity is driven by the low values available for both prime and secondary industrial units. This is supported by slightly improving lending conditions and market sentiment.
Hannah Dwyer, Head of Research said that ‘it is positive to see the strong levels of industrial take-up continue into Q2 2013 and that half-year volumes are already exceeding this point last year. We are on target to at least match take-up for the whole of 2012 which reached 2.1m sq.ft. In addition, following 6 quarters of rental stability at €5.50 per sq.ft., there is evidence of some rental uplift this quarter to €5.50 - €6.00 per sq.ft. for prime industrial units in key locations. There is increasing evidence from the level of market activity and rental increases of returning confidence to the industrial market and emerging signs of recovery”.
Nigel Healy, Director of Industrial Agency said that: “While market conditions remain tough, some of the evidence emerging in respect of rental and capital values is encouraging. Interestingly, there have been isolated instances of “best bid” processes, a practice that vanished post boom. While this does not by any means herald a return to pre-recession values and is very much focused on specific types of industrial properties, it does seem to suggest that the market is taking the view that values may have bottomed. We have also seen some limited activity in land acquisition both by occupiers and speculators. Again volumes are very thin but should be viewed against the background of virtually no activity for the last number of years. A further positive note is the emergence of some interest in respect of quality long income industrial investment opportunities but clearly time will tell as to the depth of this demand”.
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