New Report Shows Out Of Town Retail Vacancy Rates At Lowest Since 2004

April 23, 2015

Retail warehousing vacancy rates are at the lowest levels since 2004 according to The Definitive Guide to Retail & Leisure Parks 2015, launched  by Trevor Wood Associates.

The latest edition of the annual state of the market report shows that the retail warehousing vacancy rate, including free-standing units and retail parks, fell to 7.1% by the end of 2014, down from 10% in mid-2013. The figure marks the biggest annual drop recorded by Trevor Wood Associates since 2010 and the lowest rate for 11 years.

Vacancy rates differed across the UK, however;East Anglia stands at 4.1%, the North 5.4%, Scotland 7.8%, the South West 8.6%, Wales 6.8%,Yorkshire and Humberside 6.6%, the North West 9% while Northern Ireland has the highest vacancy rate at 10.5%.

The report also highlights the growth in floorspace of value retailer B&M as discount retailers increase their footprints across the UK. The trend follows the rise in discount and budget retailers identified in Going Shopping 2015 – The Definitive Guide to Shopping Centres, also published by Trevor Wood Associates last year.

The out of town retail report shows that B&M has risen to sixth place in the Top 10 Retail Park Tenants rankings, up from 11thposition in 2013. This follows a 30% increase in square footage – up from 2.28 million sq ft to 2.97 million sq ft in 2014.

The rest of the top 10 is fairly similar to 2013, led once again by B&Q who had 8.07 million sqft of space on retail parks in 2014 – a 1% drop on 2013, with a further drop set to happen in 2015 following their recent announcements.

A limited amount of development has taken place in the sector and the total retail warehouse market grew to 181.35 million sq ft in 2014 with a new high of 54.6% of space taken by comparison goods retailers (excluding DIY).

Floorspace on retail parks grew to 114.16 million sqft in 2014. Excluding DIY retailers the share of retail parks floorspace in 2014 occupied by comparison goods retailers also hit a record high – at 60.2% compared to 59.1% in 2013.

Trevor Wood, senior partner of Trevor Wood Associates, said this year’s results are hugely encouraging for the property market. “Thirty two of the top fifty tenants increased their retail park presence over the past year whilst the top ten fastest growing retail park tenants occupied almost 2.5 million sq ft of retail warehousing floorspace in the past 12 months. These are both hugely positive market indicators.”

The Definitive Guide to Retail & Leisure Parks 2015, at 364 pages in length, is the biggest to date and includes two new major analyses. These include analysis of retailers who went into administration or restructured and analysis of the fastest growing and decreasing tenants.

The report is available to order  from Trevor Wood Associates priced £545.


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