Firm identifies trend for changing commercial buildings for residential use

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There is a growing trend in the property market in Scotland for empty commercial buildings to be changed into residential use, according to real estate consultants. Many commercial properties have recently being sold with a view to being occupied for alternative use, according to CKD Galbraith, which is increasingly being asked to evaluate the future potential of a building when valuing the property. The firm says that within the commercial sector, a number of buildings utilised as commercial properties are now being marketed with a view to change of use to residential and offering opportunities for private individuals and property developers. ‘We have been involved in many sales of commercial properties where we have determined that demand for commercial uses was limited and that a property’s prospects were greatly enhanced by promoting them for alternative use, in particular residential,’ said Harry Stott, of CKD Galbraith’s commercial team. Many present fantastic residential opportunities for developers or potential home owners alike to create some unique and stunning homes full of character and history,’ he added. This trend also particularly applies to town house properties in Edinburgh, according to Katie Gibson, a commercial agent within CKD Galbraith’s Edinburgh office. The firm was recently been involved in the sale and purchase of Edinburgh Townhouse Commercial properties in Gayfield Square and Chester Street, which again were of more interest to the residential market. ‘Whilst there is greater demand in Edinburgh for commercial use of town house buildings the potential returns and demand are often far greater for residential conversion particularly in the New Town,’ she explained. ‘We also get a number of private client requests looking to purchase town houses and commercial buildings that have outlived their current usage and offer fantastic opportunities for residential conversion,’ she added. Other examples include the former Ballathie Estate Office which offers limited demand as a commercial property, but presents a prospect for residential purposes subject to consent. Situated in a rural location in Perthshire, it is a single story U-shaped stone building arranged around a private courtyard with feature archway. The property was constructed in 2001 and has been utilised as a farm shop and café and estate office. The internal accommodation comprises two self-contained units which could be used as two separate residential units or linked to form one larger property. North Range, East Lodge at Stanley Mills is another such commercial property which lends itself well to potential residential use. Formerly used as office space it is part of Stanley Mills, a listed complex of buildings established as a cotton mill in the 1780s. However, restricted demand in the area for office use has resulted in CKD Galbraith applying for a change of use consent on North Range, East Lodge to residential which is where the firm believes the principal demand lies. Continue reading →

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