DEMAND for warehousing space in Scotland has surged in the first half of this year, Savills said.

It comes against a backdrop of some businesses seeking to stockpile over Brexit.

Take-up reached 360,966 sq ft (33,535 sq m) for the first six months of the year, the strongest start since 2016 and representing a 180 per cent increase on the full year figure for 2018.

Savills said that while business has been strong, it has predominantly been made up of second-hand units which accounted for 67% of all space transacted.

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The supply shortage in size and quality of available units in Scotland has led to vacancy rates hitting the lowest level recorded at 5.55%.

Savills also said there are still no units over 100,000 sq ft being speculatively developed in Scotland meaning vacancy rates are not expected to fluctuate in the medium term.

The largest deal in H1 was Malcolm Logistics acquiring 240,966 sq ft in Bathgate.

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The largest unit on the market is Lidl’s regional distribution centre at Deans Industrial Estate comprising 291,710 sq ft, with the relocation to new 750,000 sq ft base in Eurocentral.

Ross Sinclair, of Savills in Glasgow, said: “While demand continues to remain firm occupiers seeking specific required features may find that the existing lower quality buildings might not be able to fulfil their needs. Unless speculative development comes forward we expect to see more occupiers opting for the build to suit route.”