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Industrial Space around the World

Africa and the Middle East showed the best rental performance for the third consecutive year, as export-driven development in the Israeli and South African markets drove up the average regional rental growth to 27.2%.A robust performance by the Asia-Pacific markets led to rental growth of 13.4%, largely due to the soaring demand in India and China. On average, rents rose by a very healthy 6.3% for the Americas. South America in particular continued to deliver a strong performance, up by 20%, with Canadian rents growing by 8% and US rents up by almost 6%. Western Europe outperformed the overall European average of 3.6%, with a 4.2% rise in rents. London Heathrow remained the most expensive industrial location in the world, with an overall occupancy cost of €252 per sq.m per year, followed by the Me’ouyan Soreq submarket in Rishon Le-Zion, Israel, at €207 per sq.m. Tokyo now follows at €154 per sq.m in third place.

The gap between the leading locations narrowed over the course of the year, as rents held firm in London while strong rental growth occurred in competing locations. Global manufacturing saw excellent growth in 2006, as the shift to emerging markets, where labour and property costs are significantly lower, continued. Global trade is booming with the further internationalisation of supply and production chains. Multinational corporations are still expanding into new markets, fuelling China’s sustained growth, India’s rapid industrial expansion and the continued interest in manufacturing locations in CEE.

The positive mood of 2005 continued as property market fundamentals improved again, this is due largely to many markets continuing to see an upturn in demand, with leasing activity strongly focused on higher-quality premises, particularly those located alongside transport infrastructure. Across an increasing number of markets, a shortage of supply is starting to encourage more speculative development. Logistics remained the most dynamic sub-sector, especially in the European markets. The export-driven markets in South Africa and Israel look set to continue growing, while the high demand for industrial space in South America should stimulate more development, alleviating the severe supply shortages there. In North America, new Canadian industrial markets, Calgary in particular, are booming and challenging traditional logistics and distribution centres.

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This report was written by Caroline Stone & Simon Breslaw of the European Research Group London

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