Potential Transformation of Vacant Offices Into Housing For Young People: Optimization of Decision Making Process – M. van Swam

Both vacancy and transformation of existing buildings are of all ages. However the last few years the market is changed into a so called replacement market. The office stock in use is fairly stable, there is no demand for expansion. So the new buildings are mainly built to replace the old stock. This construction of new real estate leads to oversupply and so we can speak of a buyer’s market. An increasing proportion of this supply is outdated and will be difficult to rent without any adjustments, even with a strong economic recovery. In order to prevent extended vacancy, it is necessary that a substantial portion of the outdated stock on the market will be removed. (Voordt & Geraedts, 2007) This imbalance can be explained due the fact that the labor force stops growing, the “new way of working” is gaining popularity and the surface area per workplace per employee decreases. (Besselaar, 2011) Transformation of existing offices is a sustainable way of addressing vacancy; either through residential conversion or within use adaption. The solution for vacancy can be different for each case because not every property is vacant for the same reason. Transformation of vacant offices is related to multiple factors and actors with many conflicting interests, involvment or investments, which results in a complicated process. But the most important part is that transformation only makes sense when the new function(s) provide in need. The supply must match demand, in terms of characteristics and location of building. This research gives an overview of the most important factors and barriers that influence the transformation potential of vacant offices into housing for young people, from both supply and demand side. The results of this research form the input for a support tool which allows an investor to make a substantiated financial feasibility study in a quick way at an early stage of the transformation process.

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