London East is one of the most densely populated regions, but also one of the smallest geographically. It encompasses the eastern arc of London inside the M25 as well as major towns such as Basildon and Southend. In recent years some industrial land, close to London, has been lost to higher value uses and the region has suffered from road congestion. It is home to several very active ports, such as Tilbury, and has attracted heavy investor interest, as well as high levels of warehouse development. The joint bid for ‘freeport’ status by several of the regions ports as well as the Ford site has the potential to kickstart further development activity.
This region has seen significant inward investment by retail and logistics occupiers in 2020, particularly Amazon, DHL and Lidl who signed very large pre-lets in 2020. The availability of up-and-built stock fell to below the national average in 2020, to 4.8%. We expect future development activity to be centred on Dartford and London Gateway, but there are schemes in Belvedere and Purfleet which also can deliver well-located schemes for modern occupiers. This will provide an increased choice of accommodation, but overall, the region has a strong rental growth profile over the next 3 years at 2.1%, given the high volume of ‘oven-ready’ land, the offer of port facilities and excellent access routes to the London market.