Property investment

East Hampshire District Council’s property investment portfolio currently generates more than £3m a year for public services.

Reductions in government funding over the last ten years has meant the council must find new ways to generate income to maintain services and keep Council Tax low.

The council’s commercial property portfolio has been built with great care and with advice from investment specialists and in-house expertise, maximising potential income at the lowest possible risk to the tax payer.

It is performing well and once the portfolio has been fully acquired it will contribute substantially towards council services.

The portfolio includes properties from a balanced and diverse mix of sectors to reduce risk. In building the portfolio the council has reviewed and rejected hundreds of properties that were not appropriate for the council.

Properties are chosen for their potential as investments, not for their proximity to East Hampshire, and are bought according to the constraints set out in the council’s investment strategy.

The council’s investment strategy sets out the how purchases would be identified and the process for making the decisions.

Most purchases since 2017 have been funded with loans from the Public Works Loan Board, which gives Local Authorities the ability to borrow funds for investments of this nature. The loans are repayable at low interest rates compared to the potential yield of the investments.