LONDON-The UK now has 181 million sf of empty industrial buildings, up 15.4% on the same time last year, according to the latest Industrial Floorspace Today survey from King Sturge. In the first four months of 2002, vacancies rose by 2.8% reflecting the continued economic slowdown which has hit the manufacturing sector especially hard.

The increased availability has been most ,marked in new space: completed but unlet industrial developments now total 16 million sf, up 46.4% year-on-year and up 11.7% in four months. Newly-developed space now accounts for 8.8% of total supply, against 8.1% in December 2001.

And there has also been an increase in the availability of large units of over 100,000 sf. At April 20002, there was almost 40 million sf of space available in big sheds, 21% more than a year previously.

Dr Angus McIntosh, Head of Research at King Sturge said: “Although the overall level of available space in completed buildings increased once again, the rate of increase slowed and was comparatively modest compared with our previous survey. In addition, the total level of available floorspace fell in four regions whereas in the previous survey every region recorded an increase.”

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