Staying ahead of the curve in all matters affecting the real estate market, we recently attended a Property Investor Europe (PIE) breakfast panel which put the spotlight on the industrial sector. The punchy panel included Vanessa Muscarà, associate director, property research at M&G Real Estate, Stefan Wundrak, head of European research at TH Real Estate, and Jon Sleeman, head of industrial and logistics research EMEA at JLL.

The main consensus throughout was that industrial property is currently one of the most sought after sectors by investors. This is mainly due to a rise in e-commerce which has resulted in a significant growth in demand. This growth in occupier appetite has resulted in an increase of investors looking for prime industrial property making “logistics one of the hottest property sectors across Europe”, according to PIE.

The panel agreed that the European industrial market has seen record low vacancy levels alongside high take-up and investment in the last three years. However, the panel also noted that historically, continental Europe has always outperformed the UK and US, this has not been the case in the last five years.

Jon Sleeman highlighted that there may be a slowdown in the UK during 2017, but noted that this will be due to Amazon having finalised its latest phase of expansion. However, the sentiment remained positive as he highlighted that the UK industrial market would continue to perform well despite the slowdown. In contrast, Stefan Wundrak stated that Brexit is currently being ignored, noting that once the UK fully leaves the EU, British logistics companies will have to set-up hubs across continental Europe, raising the overall demand.

The resounding conclusion from the panel was that the industrial market is currently one of the most competitive sectors and that investors will continue to struggle to find property in the market. We look forward to attending the next PIE breakfast on 8 June, which will centre on the recovery of the Spanish property market.