Occupier sentiment ‘surprises on the upside’: logistics census

The results of the third annual logistics real estate census undertaken by Savills, Tritax Eurobox and Analytiqa were “surprising on the upside”, said Kevin Mofid, Savills director and head of EMEA industrial and logistics research. Occupiers were particularly positive.

“We asked occupiers how business conditions were compared to the previous six months and the occupier audience was the most positive when we compare that with investors and developers.”

There were more than 250 responses to the census of which more than 100 were from occupiers.

Their chief concerns were rising costs, access to labour and the availability of power.

“That ties in very neatly with what we asked them next: what supply chain technologies are you are investing in?” Mofid explained.  

Top of this list was electric vehicles and warehouse automation and robotics which indicates a dichotomy for occupiers between investing in efficiency improvements while power is increasingly a constraint.

For developers the key challenges were lack of development sites and the planning and permitting process.

“One of the biggest problems that occupies are reporting is the lack of sites, the lack of buildings. If the developers can’t get access to those sites, if they can’t be brought forward in a timely fashion, if the energy isn’t there, what’s that going to do? It’s going to keep the vacancy rates low and occupiers are going to be stifled in their choice and therefore economic growth is going to be constrained.”

And while more than 70% of investors wanted to invest in before the end of the year, the pinch point across continental Europe is the mismatch between pricing aspirations between sellers and buyers, Mofid said.