Office-to-residential conversions rise

Demand for Edinburgh townhouse office-to-residential conversions has surged, driven largely by rising residential prices in Edinburgh’s west end and New Town, according to Shepherd Chartered Surveyors.

The firm reported a rise in the number of cash buyers in the Edinburgh market and an influx of foreign capital due to the fall in the value of the pound.

The last quarter of 2016 alone saw Shepherd receive four townhouse instructions in the capital with two sold, one presently under offer and another just brought to market.

Steven Clarke, commercial agency surveyor at Shepherd’s Edinburgh office, said: “The market has seen a flurry of sales of late with principally the demand for townhouse office to residential conversions which has caused our instructions to be very successful with properties being on the market for an average of 4-6 weeks before a closing date is set and achieving prices in excess of quoting marketing figures.

“We expect this high demand for townhouse property to continue into 2017 as the residential end product continues to see increases in value, combined with the ongoing requirements from commercial office occupiers.”

Graeme Haywood, associate residential surveyor at Shepherd’s Edinburgh office added: “Continued overseas investment, shortage of stock and catchment areas are some of the main drivers that have allowed higher end housing prices to remain steady throughout a fairly turbulent year …”

One property recently sold by Shepherd was a Category A listed mid-terraced Georgian townhouse at 5 Melville Crescent in Edinburgh’s west end where surrounding properties comprise a mix of consular and professional occupiers.

Including a car parking space and two remote garages, the townhouse had been on the market at offers over £1.35 million.