Last year was a record-breaker for the sector as the combination of a global pandemic and looming Brexit sent take-up through the roof. 

Grace Howarth

Grace Howarth

Investment too would have hit new heights had it not been for the high watermark established in 2017 by the Logicor deal. But what goes up must come down – or at least slow down. Can the market really maintain such phenomenal growth?

Opinions are divided. The impact of Brexit is hard to read, with some experts predicting occupiers will need more space in the UK and some saying less. Developers and investors, however, show no sign of losing their appetite. Firethorn Trust and Valor are both bullish about the future, the former seeing great opportunities in Brexit and the latter outlining plans to double its assets under management to €2bn in the next few years.

For Valor co-founder Christian Jamison, a focus on last-mile logistics is key. If there is a recurring theme in this supplement, it is the phenomenal growth of last-mile logistics in response to the Covid-related ecommerce boom. Amazon alone snapped up more than 25m sq ft of space in 2020 and is still hunting for last-mile sites around the country.

With experts predicting that life will never return to the way it was and that post-Covid we will work – and shop – from home far more than we did pre-pandemic, online operators are well placed for further growth. The question is: will there be sufficient space to soak up all the demand – and to what lengths will investors go to secure a piece of the action?

Grace Howarth is Property Week’s market reports editor