Around 9.7m sq ft was taken up in the six months to June this year, compared to 9.6m sq ft in 2019. The number was 6% lower than the second half of 2019 (10.3m sq ft). Retailers accounted for 63% of the take-up in the first half of this year, with e-commerce taking up 27%.

According to JLL’s ‘H1 2020 UK Big Box Industrial & Logistics Market Research’, there was 25.4m sq ft of grade A space available across the UK at the end of June, 7% lower than the figure for the end of last year. At the end of June there was 4.9m sq ft of big box logistics floorspace speculatively under construction nationally.

Tessa English, director, industrial and logistics research at JLL, commented: “H1 2020 has been an unprecedented six months, and with a huge amount of economic uncertainty, the logistics market has demonstrated the importance of supply chains and the continuing demand for logistics floorspace to keep the nation moving. Within 9.7 million sq ft of long-term deals and 2.4 million sq ft of short term deals recorded in H1 2020, occupational demand was robust. The overall vacancy rate also fell in the first six months of this year, which is very promising given the tough economic period we are going to be facing, and with a pipeline of deals expected to complete in the second half of this year, we are looking forward with a much more positive sentiment for the market.”