Big Opportunities For Commercial Conversions To Dwellings

There are nearly 28,000 sites with an estimated market value of over £1.5 billion located across England, primed to be converted from commercial use into residential property.

That’s according to Searchland, the development site sourcing platform, which compiled a Class MA (commercial buildings that can be converted to dwellings) list.

Michael Gove, the Secretary for State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, has recently outlined plans to encourage more building or conversions in town and city centres.


The data from Searchland shows:

London has roughly a third of all England’s sites, numbering 8,985, with an estimated market value in the region of £928m.

The capital is followed by the South-East and East of England, at 5,729 and 2,848 respectively, with these sites worth £385.4m and £186m.

The North-East has the fewest sites with the potential for conversion, at just 840, while developers also have fewer options across Yorkshire and the Humber, with 1,342 sites, as well as the East Midlands, at 1,387.

While London is home to the most properties with the required permissions, space is at a premium in the capital. Typical commercial premises have 157.0sq.ft of space, compared to an English average of 170.3sq.ft.

While Yorkshire and the Humber has a relatively low number of properties that can be converted, accounting for 4.8% of all stock, there’s more space in the region than any other, as commercial buildings with the required permissions average 186.3sq.ft. This means there’s potential to either turn them into larger residential properties or a greater number of apartments per conversion.

Co-founder and CEO of Searchland, Mitchell Fasanya, says: “Disused commercial sites are a cornerstone of the government’s approach to solving the UK’s housing problems, if the rhetoric from Michael Gove is anything to go by.

”Our data demonstrates that developers already have the opportunity to turn thousands of commercial properties into residential developments and these sites currently hold significant value in the current market – and that has to be good news for firms operating in the conversion and refurbishment markets.”


Picture: Offices and other commercial properties could be converted in to homes.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer
11th August 2023


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