Birmingham has been ranked as the highest council area in the UK in terms of opportunities to redevelop and invest in empty properties.
Based on freedom of information requests to local councils by Glide, a UK fibre broadband company, the ranking focused on the number of empty properties, including dwellings and commercial buildings. Of 617,000 empty properties across the UK in September 2019, nearly 16,000 of them were found in Birmingham’s city and suburbs.
Greater development opportunities in the North
The next five greatest opportunities for regeneration stretch across the North. Liverpool City Council offered more than 15,000 empty properties and Manchester City Council had over 14,000, while Leeds City Council, Bradford Metropolitan Council and Durham County Council had nearly 13,000, 10,500 and nearly 9,000 empty properties respectively.
The freedom of information requests also found that of the 617,000 empty properties around the UK, 172,000 were empty business units, and could be a great potential for investment for those areas hardest hit by the financial uncertainties of the past few years. Bradford was noted for having approximately 4.5% of those empty commercial properties alone.
Redevelopment and regeneration have often involved the re-purposing of buildings. For example, the Government has sold off county court buildings now surplus to requirements after introducing technology that reduced the need for face-to-face hearings. The Ministry of Justice has sold properties worth £233 million over a period between 2010 and 2017, which have now been converted into hotels.
Another popular form of re-purposing is from offices to apartments. According to a report in the Financial Times, a third of this type of conversion has taken place in London, most notably in Croydon. However, some re-purposed properties have proved to be controversial, with tenants complaining about lack of living and communal space and windows that don’t open.
Like all councils across the UK, Berkshire County Council has a target of new homes to build. A home buyers survey Berkshire residents can trust is essential to ensure any converted dwelling is fit for purpose. Professional home buyers survey Berkshire specialists can help in this respect.
Whether the property you’re buying is converted or not, a home buyers survey is vital so you know how much it will cost for repairs and alterations after you buy.