Britain’s councils are making multi-billion-pound bets on commercial property as they try to replace revenue lost through government cuts, an investigation by The Times has found.
Local authorities are taking out loans to buy shop premises, offices and business parks despite having little or no investment experience, raising concerns that services will have to be reduced if the property bubble bursts.
Councils have paid £2.7 billion for commercial properties since 2015, up from £500 million over the previous three years, freedom of information requests show. Experts warn that some are building “exceptionally risky” portfolios. Spelthorne district council, a small authority in Surrey, has invested £422 million this year, or £10,600 for each household in its borough.
Hmm. Perhaps it’s possible to be too Curajus, you know?