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Third of unused office space could be converted for residential use, survey finds | 19 April 2013

New research reveals that 7.4 million square feet of redundant office space in the UK could be converted for residential use, fmworld.co.uk reports.

Changes in working practices – from desk-bound to remote and flexible – has shown that many office spaces have significant overcapacity and a survey carried out by property consultants, Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) showed that there is around 11.7 million square feet of disused space in the country. Over half of this space could be used to create much-needed homes, particularly in big cities.

The research named London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Slough and Manchester as the areas which possess the most ‘suitable conversion property’. Some of this space could be converted into hotels or transformed for industrial use, but the biggest option would be residential.

According to LSH, if all of the available space was revamped, it would achieve 25 per cent of the government’s new homes target.

The analysis investigated 32 regional markets in the UK and found that an incredible 27 per cent of ‘total regional availability’ is obsolete, planetpropertyblog.com writes.

Commenting on the findings, LSH national head of office agency, Tony Fisher, said: “Modern workplace trends have changed office occupier’s requirements – they need flexible, open plan space and crucially, less of it.

“Office occupier requirements will continue in this vein, meaning any stock that does not meet modern workplace trends is unlikely to ever be let again and while not every obsolete building can be converted, a fair proportion can be.”

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Qube Global Software. All facts are verified where possible directly by the author.

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