Industrial and logistics was one of the worst-hit property sectors in the depths of the recession.

Mia Hunt

Vast, speculatively built warehouses and distribution hubs stood empty and silent - shells devoid of the hubbub of manufacture, automation and high-speed delivery fulfilment they were designed for.

What a turnaround the sector has seen since then.

Driven by retailers’ insatiable appetite for space - most notably Amazon, which took a staggering 8.1m sq ft of space last year - demand is strong in most regions.

The problem now is a different one: lack of space. Competition from residential developers and other land users is pushing industrial to the back of the queue. And at the very back are the third-party logistics companies, which are struggling to find the space they need.

The dark days that followed the global financial crisis of 2008 are not easily forgotten, and investor and developer anxiety about speculative development is arguably stunting growth.

But the Brexit vote has not yet had a negative impact, rather the reverse: take-up in the second half of 2016 was higher than in the first half. So isn’t it time the sector puts the past behind it and takes advantage of buoyant market conditions?

PW Sheds Conference

Property Week’s Sheds conference will be held on 27th April 2017 at The Studio in Birmingham. To see the agenda and book your tickets visit

This and other key issues will be discussed at Property Week’s Sheds conference in Birmingham on 27 April. Speakers - including big hitters from SEGRO, Verdion, John Lewis, M&G and DHL - will discuss the post-Brexit-vote outlook, how technology can be used for competitive edge, the land debate, the retail supply chain and much more.

To find out more and book your place, go to, but hurry - there are only a few places left.

Mia Hunt is Property Week’s market reports editor