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The RO Developments and Office Agents Society (OAS) Roundtable Debate: Is the Market Ready for Office Development and Refurbishment in the South/South East? Pt 5

wantspacegotspace.co.uk - RO Developments / OAS Roundtable DebateFrom an investment perspective, refurbishments clearly are an opportunity because of the sluggish pipeline of Grade A space, but as with new builds the funding has to come from somewhere. BNP Paribas Real Estate national investment director Richard Talbot-Williams said: “Funding is a real opportunity. Where it’s a spec refurb then you’re looking at a different type of investor, which is looking for higher return. Then it very much does come down to equity. A big change in that market will be if the lenders creep back ”.

One trick up investors’ sleeves when there is so little security out there is the option to convert an office building into residential space. With residential demand and prices so high, it can be a far better use of a building, particularly on sites that don’t match the fastidious nature of office tenant demand today.

However nothing is totally straightforward in today’s market. While in theory it is a no-brainer to have a residential conversion as a backup to underpin office values, it is often easier said than done. Goodman UK development director James Raven said: “It can be very difficult to convert buildings; there are all sorts of planning issues and you will have to go through lots of hoops but things are changing in certain areas”.

Posted by The Editor (wantspacegotspace) on 9th April 2013

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