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Last Mile, First Choice

Last Mile, First Choice

The big investment story of 2019 was urban logistics. In 2020 it looks like the sector will continue its rapid growth, with projections for the UK parcels business showing the volume of deliveries exceeding 50 per head per year, a staggering 12% growth rate.

Jeremy Bishop and Stewart Little's opportunistic vehicle Oxenwood Real Estate has acquired four last-mile delivery plots in Manchester, London and Surrey for £51M. All have break clauses meaning they could be available from 2021-23.

The deal gives it the opportunity to add significant value, Oxenwood said in a statement, and takes its total logistics spend in the last nine months to £183M.

“Urban locations continue to be a focus for the business, and these four additions represent excellent value-add opportunities in their markets," said Little, Oxenwood's founder. "With lease structures that allow us to access the strong rental growth in their locations, the assets will be strong contributors to the portfolio.

“Playing to our strategy around power, the buildings have exceptional supplies for their size and location, which will future proof their appeal to occupiers and potentially drive further returns.”

Savills logistics director Chris Earle said investors are eying the sector with a view to big purchases in 2020.

“Last-mile delivery is here to stay, despite the challenges it faces on cost," Earle said. "Where demand outstrips supply for the premises desired by parcel companies this undoubtedly has an upward pressure on price. The severity of this varies from location to location.”

In Manchester, Oxenwood has acquired a 90,700 SF office, laboratory and warehouse facility on Beacon Road in Trafford Park for £7M, which reflects a net initial yield of 6.45%. It is let to Houghton, the UK subsidiary of Quaker Houghton, the global leader in industrial process fluids, until 2031, with a break option in 2021.

In London, Oxenwood has acquired a 39K SF facility in Barking, and another in west London for a total of £27.1M. The Barking unit is let until July 2027, with a tenant-only break option in July 2022.

In Redhill, Oxenwood has acquired a 108K SF facility for £17.25M, which reflects a net initial yield of 4.81%. It is let to DHL Supply Chain until October 2023.

Oxenwood was advised by Cogent Real Estate on the Redhill and two London transactions and by M1 Agency on the Manchester transaction.