Back in June, we reported a trend where some residential property buyers were looking for opportunities to convert commercial property into homes, although the example we chose to illustrate this fact was merely one isolated case in Gloucester. However, that was just one small fragment of the entire story, as the latest news states that this pattern is now being observed across the country, and some people aren’t too happy about it.
Commercial property in London has always represented the heart of the UK commercial real estate sector, but some high profile buildings are now being used for very different purposes. The Financial Times reports the case of Premier House, a huge structure that was previously home to more than 100 businesses, but which is now being converted to house a number of residential flats. This practice has largely come about as a result of new laws which were passed by the coalition government, but a former solicitor from Premier House has bemoaned that it has ‘ripped the heart’ from the area.
The regulation changes in question were ushered in last year, and were notable for making it far simpler to gain permission to convert office spaces into residential premises. Intended as a means of selling office buildings which may not meet the modern day criteria for business venues, areas like London are said to be affected far more strongly than other parts of the UK, given the heights of house prices in the capital, but even so the availability of commercial property is falling across the UK as a whole.
Is This a Problem?
Fundamentally, there’s nothing at all wrong with using commercial property for residential conversions, but some concerned parties are stating that this relatively recent practice is stifling the growth of London businesses. Renowned for being a strong centre for business, converting commercial property into residential facilities is technically removing space that could have otherwise been utilised by business start-ups, and some are questioning whether this may have less long-term value.
Regardless of your opinion on this matter, the fact remains that competition is fierce when it comes to London commercial property, and finding the best deals can sometimes be challenging. Here at Prideview Properties, we are specialist commercial property consultants in London, and we have a wide-ranging portfolio of London properties for you to peruse. We can also guide you through the process of commercial property investment using our up-to-date knowledge, so you’ll always be in good hands when you come to us for assistance. To find out more, contact us now by calling 0208 863 8680 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.