A recent study has found that UK local authorities have spent £3.8bn in just 5 years on Commercial Property. The study was undertaken by property consultants Carter Jonas and Revo an organisation that supports people and businesses in the retail sector. From the results, Spelthorne Borough Council came in 1st place as the biggest local authority investor after investing £477.1m.
In terms of property types, office space took up nearly half of the £3.8bn investment in the last 5 years but was closely followed by the retail sector which saw £1.2bn investment. The industrial sector was next with £500m, and mixed property uses received investment of £100m and £80m was invested in leisure properties. The remainder was split between a number of more diverse property types.
In addition to the investment calculations, the study included surveys with members of the public and private sector, with the goal of trying to find the issues that are affecting our high streets. Their findings showed that 28.4% of people thought that online shopping was the biggest challenge for high street businesses. Internet giants such as Amazon and Ebay are now fully established so this doesn’t seem so surprising. Business rates were then blamed by 13.6% and simply a reduced demand for retail space was also voted by 13.6%.
While trouble in the high street retail market is nothing new these days, the findings of the study prove particularly interesting. The fact that local authorities are still investing shows there are gains to be had from the retail market, and while profits still exist we can expect spending to continue. It will be interesting to see what a similar study might now show for the next 5 years.
Retail sector feeling positive in Northern Ireland