Report reveals top concerns for European property occupiers

The 2023 European Real Estate Logistics Census, published by Savills and Tritax EuroBox, has revealed that respondents identified rising rents as the greatest concern amongst logistics occupiers this year, followed by access to labour and a lack of supply of new buildings.

Despite still being the top concern, 18% fewer people identified rising costs as a major concern compared with last year’s census, which the report attributes to “slowing inflation in recent months”. A similar trend can be seen with concerns over other issues including availability of labour and warehouse space, both of which saw a 10-15% decrease.

Almost 80% of occupiers surveyed felt that business conditions now are the same or more favourable than six months ago.

One interesting takeaway from the 2023 European Real Estate Logistics Census is that attitudes towards environmental, social, and governance (ESG) values have seemingly improved.

Although one may expect that ESG would become less of a priority while inflation remains a concern, this survey seems to suggest that it is in fact prompting more firms to explore the efficiency gains of more sustainable warehouses.

According to the report, “volatile energy and fuel prices over the last 12 months have seen companies increasingly focus on improving efficiency, using more renewables and energy storage”.

Evidence of this can be seen in the statistic that 45% of occupiers in the survey reported having implemented measures to improve energy efficiency in the past 12 months and 39% have invested in electric vehicle (EV) charging.

The census also asked occupiers to rank ESG criteria in order of importance. Renewable energy came out on top, with carbon performance second and energy efficiency third. It will likely come as no surprise that energy efficiency and building certification is amongst the top priorities for occupiers, given that 60% of UK warehouse space could be unlettable by 2030 due to insufficient energy performance standards.

Staff wellbeing and community impact were ranked in the middle of the list, while biodiversity was voted as the lowest priority ESG criterion.


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