Launch of Kent Property Market Report 2021

Posted on 5 November 2021

Headlines

  • 3,500,000 sq ft take-up of industrial and distribution floorspace during the last year – more than a four-fold increase on 2020 (800,000 sq ft) – and prime rents continue to rise in Kent.

  • 9% increase in annualised average prime industrial rents over the last three years.

  • 48% increase in average prime industrial rents over the last five years.

  • Caxtons estimates that investment in new industrial and distribution stock in Kent will exceed £300m in 2021, almost double the 2018 level.

Take-up of industrial and logistics space looks set to significantly exceed the record levels of 2020, according to the Kent Property Market Report 2021 – with more than a four-fold increase.

The 30th edition of the report, produced by Caxtons Chartered Surveyors, Kent County Council and Locate in Kent, suggests that the county’s distribution property market has once again performed well, with significant lettings on the new stock coming forward.

Mark Coxon, Director of Business Space - M25 East at Caxtons, which has offices across Kent, said: “The structural changes already under way in the property market have gathered pace in Kent over the last year.

“The county is playing an important role in meeting the growing demand for industrial space inside and beyond the M25. Across the home counties there remains a shortage of stock, and over the last 12 months there has been significant new space coming forward through pre-lets in Kent.

“Supply chain challenges presented by the pandemic and HGV driver shortages have added further to stock storage requirements, and driven further investment interest in Kent.”

Kent Property Market Report 2021
Kent Property Market Report 2021

Caxtons’ team has calculated that over the last three years there has been an annualised average prime rental increase of nine per cent. Despite the recent sharp increase in stock there has been a total increase of 48 per cent in average prime industrial rents over the last five years.

The continued expansion and upgrading of facilities by retailers, parcel delivery operators and third-party logistics businesses has driven the pace of growth, with Grade A large floorplate space in Kent in high demand.

Roger Gough, Leader of Kent County Council, said: “It is important that we focus on Kent’s commercial property strengths in order to support the county’s recovery. We expect the UK economy will return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021, and the outlook for the property market as a whole does appear more positive than this time last year.”

While the county mirrors the national picture in many sectors of the property market, it is capitalising on its location.

“The county offers a competitive advantage compared to other locations across the South East and beyond, enhanced by our links to continental Europe which remain vital to distribution networks.”

Gavin Cleary, Chief Executive of Locate in Kent
Co-working and start-up office space launched at BizSpace Ashford in June 2021
Co-working and start-up office space launched at BizSpace Ashford in June 2021

Gavin Cleary, Chief Executive of Locate in Kent, added: “The county offers a competitive advantage compared to other locations across the South East and beyond, enhanced by our links to continental Europe which remain vital to distribution networks. To support the county’s commercial property sector we, along with our partners at Kent County Council, continue to push for the new Lower Thames Crossing and investment in our road and rail network, which will further enhance our county’s connectivity.”

Ashford featured heavily within the report, which outlined that the borough is “in a strong position to recover and reap the benefits from a post-pandemic world” and “remains an important commercial location driven by key developments.” KPMR 2021 provided updates on these key projects, including the Jasmin Vardimon Company’s Creative Laboratory, which is one of the Kent’s largest cultural infrastructure projects; the approval for a distribution centre at Waterbrook Park; co-working and start-up office space at BizSpace Ashford; and the plans for TV and film studio space at Newtown Works.

Jasmin Vardimon Company’s upcoming Creative Laboratory is one of the Kent’s largest cultural infrastructure projects
Jasmin Vardimon Company’s upcoming Creative Laboratory is one of the Kent’s largest cultural infrastructure projects

Key commercial property figures for Ashford:

  • +11% change in business park rents 2020-21
  • +9% change in industrial rents 2020-21
  • 0% change in office rents 2020-21
  • -20% change in retail rents 2020-21

The report was unveiled on 4 November to more than 300 guests at a virtual event, which included keynote speeches by Cathy Parker, Co-Chair of the Institute of Place Management, and Lisa Carlson, Chair of the Association of Town & City Management.

The Kent Property Market Report is supported by Cripps Pemberton Greenish, DHA Planning, Hollaway Studio, MHA Macintyre Hudson and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, (RICS).

To download and read the report, visit https://www.kentpropertymarket.com/