Greater community ownership of high street properties could lead to many fewer empty shops, compared to ownership by private-sector interests such as real estate companies and overseas investors.
Shops owned by overseas investors are more than twice as likely to be vacant as shops owned by the public sector
Real estate companies own one in four of all empty shops, and overseas investors own one in five; whereas the public sector and social sector  own around one in ten each
Just 8% of units owned by the social sector are vacant, and 4.5% of those owned by the public sector – compared to 9.2% for real estate companies, 9.6% for overseas investors, 11.9% for institutions like pension funds, and 13% for investment management schemes
On a total basis, sales increased by 0.3% in July, against an increase of 1.6% in July 2018. This is the lowest figure recorded for the month of July since BRC records began in 1995 and comes after the worst June on records. This is above the 3-month average of -1.3% but below the 12-month average of 0.5%. This is the lowest 12-month average on records.
UK retail sales increased by 0.1% on a like-for-like basis from July 2018, when they had increased 0.5% from the preceding year. This is above the 3-month and 12-month averages of -1.5% and -0.2% respectively.
Over the three months to July, in-store sales of Non-Food items declined 4.1% on a Total basis and 4.0% on a like-for-like basis. This is worse than the 12-month Total average decline of 2.6%.
Over the three months to July, Food sales decreased 1.0% on a Like-for-like basis and 0.3% on a Total basis. This is below the 12-month Total average growth of 1.8% and the lowest 3-month average since December 2014, excluding Easter distortions.
The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.5% in July 2018, up from 2.4% in June 2018.
The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 2.3% in July 2018, unchanged from June 2018.
Rising prices for computer games and transport fares produced the largest upward contributions to change in the 12-month rate between June and July 2018, although computer game prices tend to be highly variable from month to month.
The upward effects were offset by falls in prices for clothing and footwear, and the removal of initial charges for investment in some unit trusts.
Prices for clothing and footwear fell by 0.4% between July 2017 and July 2018, the first time the 12-month rate has been negative since October 2016.