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10 March, 2018 - 23:50 By Kate Sweeney

Cambridge lettings outpace Oxford

Industrial rents continued growing strongly across the Golden Triangle in the last six months of 2017 – with Cambridgeshire leading the way by posting growth of 13.6 per cent in the year.

Rents have continued to edge up in most Golden Triangle markets, but the strongest growth was recorded in Cambridge where headline rents reached a new high of £12.50 sq ft. Oxfordshire rents hit £10.75 sq ft by the end of the year.

In one exceptional Cambridge transaction £16.50 sq ft was achieved by Bidwells for a 25,000 sq ft unit let to Ridgeons in the centre of town.

Bidwells’ industrial market research looks twice yearly at rental values in the Golden Triangle of Oxford, Cambridge and London, as well as other significant towns and cities in the region.

Patrick Stanton (pictured), partner and head of the Industrial and Logistics team at Bidwells, said: “The growth we have seen in Cambridge over the last 12 months has been nothing short of astonishing.

“City centre stock levels are now critically low which has resulted in occupiers challenging for space and driving rents upwards at an unprecedented pace.”

Prime rents in Cambridgeshire have risen by 38.9 per cent since the 2013 peak. Take up for the year hit 532,700 sq ft in Cambridgeshire – the second highest level on record.

Supply in Oxfordshire is now heavily constrained with a 74.4 per cent reduction in supply since its 2014 peak. There has been a 50.4 per cent reduction in supply in Cambridge since 2013 but Bidwells expects supply in Cambridge to tighten further still.

Stanton added: “The region’s (Cambridgeshire) Local Plan has allocated a number of Cambridge’s industrial estates for residential development and there is currently no new allocation for up to 400,000 sq ft of industrial space that will be lost when Clifton Road Industrial Estate, Cambridge, and Dales Manor Business Park in Sawston, are reallocated.”

A South Cambridgeshire warehouse let by Bidwells became the largest industrial transaction in East Anglia in the last 10 years. The building, known as The CDC Warehouse in Sawston, is more than 275,000 sq ft and has been let to The Commodity Centre Group at a headline rent of over £1.2 million per annum.

Acting on behalf of Roxhill Developments, Bidwells also recently agreed a 250,000 sq ft freehold design and build transaction to Smart Garden Products, a leading supplier of garden products to the trade, at Gateway Peterborough for a price in excess of £17m.

More than 80 per cent of Bidwells’ work is concentrated in the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Oxford, Cambridge and London, including sector-leading work in the science & technology, and education sectors.

• Estates Gazette’s latest industrial agent league tables saw Bidwells come out on top in the eastern region after the team disposed of 767,360 sq ft out of a regional total of 2,334,634 sq ft in H2 2017 – that’s 35 per cent of the market.

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