"Our January inquiry levels showed that we comfortably exceeded those for the same time last year," Miles said.
"And after a 40% reduction during the period from August to December 2008, this is a cause for optimism.
"Our inquiry levels for February showed a similar story, but of course we have to treat this with a degree of caution. The start of the New Year provides the opportunity for occupiers to test the market and the true test will be the level of take-up of space later in the year."
Miles said the type of inquiries was also changing – with the recession forcing more occupiers to consider leasing industrial premises – while there was also growing demand for large sites of 30,000 ft² plus.
"Freehold inquiries are low, with occupiers struggling with the limited availability of finance and tougher lending criteria," he said.
"Due to these restrictions occupiers are now favouring leasing where they can commit for a fixed period of time, in many cases shorter term leases of two years, while they wait for conditions to change and retain any available capital for use within the business.
"The significant majority of inquiries, around 80%, are from storage and distribution occupiers. Activity has shifted from the smaller size range below 5000 ft² towards the 10,000 ft² size range, but most noticeably we have seen a 15% increase in enquiries over 30,000 ft².
"There are also several 100,000 ft² requirements circulating in the market which are currently unsatisfied, providing a similar percentage increase in inquiries."
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