Kent is one of the smallest markets in the UK, with most of the warehouse space lying along the M20 spine road in Ashford and Maidstone. Although this is a small region in terms of logistics and often passed through by occupiers, it is unique in that it offers good access to London, port-linked warehouse stock and proportionately more land available for development than other regions. The region predominately attracts occupiers looking for smaller multi-let units; however, occupiers looking for larger space benefit from good access and relatively low levels of road congestion.
There has been no development activity in the region for two years, however, Wayfair’s 650,000 sq ft pre-let at the former Aylesford Newsprint site and Noatum Logistics pre-let at London Medway Commercial Park has kick-started activity. The return of some secondhand stock to the market in 2020 meant that the overall availability rate ticked up in 2020, but the supply of good quality stock remains limited. There are schemes such as Uniper’s 156-acre Medway One, and large plots at London Medway Commercial Park which have the potential to accommodate further development but given the lead times in these developments it will take time before this has a meaningful impact on the region’s rental profile.