Locate in Kent, Kent and Medway's investment promotion agency, maintains a client database that holds details of the property requirements of companies looking to relocate to or expand in Kent. It also maintains a web-based commercial property database that provides a good indication of Kent and Medway's commercial property supply.
|Total office and industrial property
by sub-region, June 2012
Property demand by size range, June 2012
Between April 2011 and March 2012, 216 new projects were logged by Locate in Kent, of which 194 had known property or land requirements (compared with 186 in 2010-11). 74 were for industrial property, 103 for office accommodation and 12 for land.
At the end of June 2012, there were 309 active projects. Of these, 265 had a potential requirement for property or land, compared to 273 in June 2011, of up to a total of 194,984sqm (2,098,810sqft), compared to 216,795sqm (2,333,576sqft) in 2011.
By the end of 2011-12, a total of 74 companies had been successfully assisted by Locate in Kent to invest in Kent and Medway, of which 52 had a new or additional property requirement. The total area of property occupied was 33,503sqm (360,623sqft) compared to 53,244sqm (573,116sqft) in 2011, which was an average take-up of 644sqm (6,935sqft), representing a 34% decrease in the average size of property uptake since 2011.
During the first quarter of 2012-2013, a further 15,791sqm (169,981sqft) was occupied, compared to 3,639sqm (39,166sqft) in June 2011, representing a 334% increase over June 2011. This is explained by the fact that in June 2011 there were 21 projects (13 office and 8 industrial), with only one project larger than 1,858sqm (20,000sqft), whereas in June 2012 there were 14 projects (4 office and 10 industrial), with five over 1,858sqm (20,000sqft) and with take-up of industrial property dominating at 97.8%.
The total number of industrial projects seeking property in Kent and Medway in June 2012 was 101 (compared to 114 in 2011). 101 companies made 201 area enquiries, which led to a maximum demand for industrial space of 373,793sqm (4,023,506sqft) compared to 339,094sqm (3,650,006sqft) in 2011. 30% of area enquiries for industrial properties were in Thames Gateway and 29% in Channel Corridor, with 22% in West Kent and 18% in East Kent.
With a total of 115 office projects to June 2012, total potential demand for office space reached 87,241sqm (939.069sqft) (compared with 54,815sqm (590,024sqft) in 2011), which was up by 59% on 2011. 115 companies made 203 area enquiries for office property. The highest demand (30% of area enquiries) was in Thames Gateway, with Channel Corridor 28%, West Kent 21% and East Kent 22% of area enquiries.
Of all industrial property, smaller sized units continued to be the most popular. In both 2011 and 2012, the most popular industrial property size was 93-464sqm (1,001-5,000sqft), which accounted for 42% and 39% of totals respectively in each year.
As in 2011, smaller office properties continued to be the most sought after. 86% of office demand was for properties of under 464sqm (5,000sqft), but the average minimum size requirement was almost twice the size as the previous year - 536sqm (5,765sqft) in 2012 compared to 270sqm (2,906sqft) in 2011.
Property demand by sector, June 2012
At the end of June 2011, industrial demand was dominated by retail and wholesale representing 16% of projects (29,404sqm (316,502sqft)), followed by manufacturing, (24,994sqm (269,033sqft)), food and agriculture (19,609sqm (211,070sqft)) and engineering (18,414sqm (198,207sqft)). At the end of June 2012, the situation differed slightly, with manufacturing representing 16% of the industrial demand (26,505sqm (285,297sqft)), followed by engineering (19,672sqm (211,748sqft)) and food and agriculture (15,289sqm (164,569sqft)).
At the end of June 2011, office demand was dominated by business services (35% of office demand; (11,223sqm (120,803sqft)), followed by construction and property (3,888sqm (41,850sqft)) and public services (3,721sqm (40,052sqft)), both approximately 12% of demand. At the end of June 2012, the situation was similar, with business services still dominating with 24% of office demand (7,985sqm (85,949sqft)), followed by engineering (11%; 3,558sqm (38,298sqft)) and construction and property (9%; 3,084sqm (33,195sqft).
At the end of June 2012, a total of 1,644 properties were registered on Locate in Kent's property database, compared to 1,745 at the end of June 2011, a decrease of 6%. 48% of supply was industrial properties, compared with 47% in 2011.
The greatest number of properties overall were available in Thames Gateway (32%), followed by Channel Corridor (30%), West Kent (25%) and 14% in East Kent.
Channel Corridor and Thames Gateway offered the greatest number of industrial properties (29% and 34% respectively). Channel Corridor, West Kent and Thames Gateway offered the greatest number of office properties (31%, 29% and 29% respectively).
At the end of June 2012, 92% of the office properties available were at the smaller end of the range - less than 464sqm (5,000sqft), which was the same as June 2011.
For industrial properties, the most commonly available sizes were also at the lower end of the size scale, with property under 464sqm (5,000sqft) accounting for 71% of all available industrial properties, as it did in June 2011.
Locate in Kent handled a similar number of industrial and office investments in 2011-12 and there were also more than usual from overseas - 20 investments, due to Locate in Kent's successful prioritizing of foreign direct investment. These investments were from a diverse range of countries including Ireland, Canada and India.
Document Warehouse, a leading South Africa based archiving and document storage specialist set up their first office in the UK in the 9,090sqm (90,000sqft) Orchard House, Henwood Road, Ashford, where they now have their UK HQ, creating 200 jobs over three years. Go Response, a customer services company created 150 jobs by taking an additional 808sqm (8,000sqft) at Kent Science Park and GML Construction created 106 jobs at their Coxheath, Maidstone offices.
Property supply by area, June 2012
Property supply by size bracket, June 2012