Commercial property is generally a good long term investment. Local authorities are in the enviable position of having a credit rating equal to that of the UK Government itself. For an investment owner, councils are, therefore, the perfect tenant. However, some of these arrangements are for very many years and recent experience with retail, e.g. the demise of House of Fraser, demonstrates how quickly a market can change. As Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway is fond of saying "only when the tide goes out do you discover who has been swimming naked". The key of course, as ever with any investment, is to "look before you leap" and get the best commercial and legal advice you can.
According to global investment managers BNP Paribas Real Estate, UK local authorities accounted for nearly 70% of all shopping centre investment in the first quarter of this year, spending a record £255.15m in the three-month period.