The amount of empty warehouse space in the United Kingdom has risen to a record 106m sq ft as businesses have cut costs and reduced stock levels.

The proportion of vacant industrial space has risen to 17.3%, according to figures from Gerald Eve, the property consultancy, amid a decline in demand from companies that would typically rent warehouses — such as retailers — and an increase in the number of new developments being completed. The consultancy said that 1.2m sq ft of new industrial space was finished in the first half of 2009, the lowest level for a decade, but the extra units further contributed to existing over-supply.

The Times