Milton Keynes, a forerunner for growth this year

Milton Keynes is an area of increasing economic strength, attracting a large amount of inward investment and predictions have placed Milton Keynes as a forerunner for growth this year. With its central location and close proximity to the M1 it is quickly-becoming another key location along the Cambridge and Oxford corridor – especially for the industrial and logistics sector. The success and continuing expansion of Milton Keynes’ Prologis Park Marston Gate is a case in point. In the region and across the UK, the industrial and logistics sector, in particular, is thriving: investment is soaring, demand has increased significantly (along with rents), and void periods are low at circa 6%. Despite this we are in uncertain times and many investors are keen to hold on to assets and maximise income returns, rather than trade them in. In the meantime, change in the sector continues apace: the demands of occupiers are evolving ever faster – particularly in the e-commerce sector. Today’s industrial and logistics occupiers are looking for hybrid environments with spaces for work, rest and play. They want affordable and flexible space in strategic locations that can be adapted quickly to reflect market conditions and demand. In a market that’s buoyed by low supply and high demand, there is not much stock to trade, therefore businesses seek to innovate through existing stock. This is particularly so for investors with older stock or those with small to medium-sized units. These investors need to make sure their assets work hard for them to continue to attract and retain occupiers. Implementing sustainability measures is at the top of the agenda for many providers who see it as a way of gaining a competitive advantage in the long term as well as adapting to increased investor demand for environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies. Of course, energy efficiency is also being very much statute-driven. In October 2017 the government published its Clean Growth Strategy in a bid to reduce carbon emissions, creating a legally mandated base of an EPC rating grade E on all properties from April 2018. Indications are that this is likely to be raised to a C rating by 2030. As occupiers increasingly demand high quality future-proof warehousing, energy efficiency will undoubtedly play an integral part of any landlord/tenant leasing strategies.

At Hollis we’ve seen a marked increase in the number of investors requesting portfolio refurbishment upgrades. In 2018 we refurbished over four million sq.ft. of sheds – many for some of the UK’s top funds. Whilst being a relative newcomer to the Milton Keynes region – we opened our office here in 2018 - Hollis (www.hollisglobal.com) is a leading international, independent real estate consultancy with offices across the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe. We specialise in over 20 service areas including project and cost management, dilapidations, building surveys, measured surveys, environmental services, workspace consultancy, M&E, rights of light, party walls, development monitoring, energy performance certificates and reinstatement cost assessments.

Our expertise, experience and resources means we can provide new and existing clients with advice that maximises their property’s (or portfolio’s) potential. Importantly, we strive to make the most of the expenditure clients have available, and ensure the asset is best placed as it can be to occupiers.

Carl Sablon, Senior Associate at Hollis – A specialist in warehouse and logistical units for industrial and commercial use based in Milton Keynes.
Carl Sablon, Senior Associate at Hollis – A specialist in warehouse and logistical units for industrial and commercial use based in Milton Keynes.

For more information please contact Carl Sablon on 07887657864, email carl.sablon@hollisglobal.com or visit www.hollisglobal.com