Research article

The industrial and logistics market in the North West

north west

Build-to-suit deals help take-up rise in the North West's industrial and logistics market

375 at Logistics North

375 at Logistics North

The North West bounced back from a sluggish 2017 to report a record year. We expect 2019 to continue this trend going forward

Savills Research
Figure 12

Key statistics 
Source: Savills Research


The North West now has the second largest amount of supply within the UK, currently sitting at 5.97m sq ft across 31 units.

The grade balance of the available stock has slowly shifted with Grade A stock now accounting for 42% of all vacant units on, up from 30% a year ago. Despite the increase in Grade A quality units, based upon the long- term average take-up of Grade A space, the region has just 1.3 years left of Grade A supply.

The current supply is skewed towards the smaller size bands with 65% of available units between 100,000-200,000 sq ft. There are only five units available in the region over 300,000 sq ft.

Figure 13

Supply Grade A supply increases
Source: Savills Research


Following a below-average year in 2017, transactional activity for 2018 has risen above the long-term average. Take-up reached 4.58m sq ft across 23 separate transactions, representing a 63% increase from take-up in 2017 and a 26% increase above the long-term average.

Following UK-wide trends, take-up was dominated by the 100,000-200,000 sq ft which accounted for 70% of the market by deal count. There were no deals above 400,000 sq ft in the region.

The majority of the deals involved lower quality units with 70% of the units transacted being second hand, amounting to 2.87m sq ft. Additionally the amount of build-to-suit space increased to 902,062 sq ft in 2018, a 175% rise on the level of build-to-suit space transacted in 2017.

The average deal size in 2018 was 198,952 sq ft, a 13% increase on 2017 evidencing increased occupier demand for larger units. The largest deal of the year was Movianto acquiring 373,000 sq ft at Haydock Green in St Helens.

Figure 14

Take-up returning to recent levels
Source: Savills Research

Development pipeline

There are seven units being developed totalling 1.55m sq ft. The largest being 525 Haydock in St Helens at 523,500 sq ft, set to reach practical completion in Q2 2019.