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Converting Office Space to Residential: The Answer to a Nationwide Housing Shortage?

In the aftermath of the pandemic, many companies have shifted to remote working, which has led to the highest office vacancy rate in nearly three decades. 

In her article below, Janet Nguyen does a great job outlining how states can help combat this problem, while simultaneously helping to address the nationwide housing shortage in the United States. California's Office to Housing Conversion Act is the first proposal that attempts to ease the permit and local zoning law roadblocks that have long made these types of conversions extremely difficult. 

Moving forward, it will be important to monitor how companies continue to navigate this new landscape, with some companies attempting to get employees back into the office full-time and others trying to lower their rent exposure and office space. In addition, it will be interesting to see how the California proposal plays out and which other states will introduce legislation to ease future conversions.

"In 2022, the national office vacancy rate reached an almost three-decade high of about 17%, according to a report from the real estate company CBRE released late last year. Meanwhile, as those office buildings sit idle, rents have climbed up on a year-over-year basis."


finance, real estate finance, real estate, housing