Currently Reading

Office-to-Housing Conversions Offer Potential Solution for Metro Areas Affected by the Pandemic

Build to Rent

Office-to-Housing Conversions Offer Potential Solution for Metro Areas Affected by the Pandemic

Vacant office spaces could provide a housing solution to meet rising rental demand

November 22, 2021
City skyline

With increased demand in the rental market and more office vacancy as a result of remote work ordinances, the National Association of Realtors reports a strong potential for the conversion of Class B office units into rental housing properties in metropolitan areas with the greatest declines in office occupancy. 

Office-to-housing conversions would slow market demand and resolve building vacancies left behind by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston would benefit from office-to-housing conversions as apartment rent growth outpaces office rent growth with more demand for single and multifamily rental housing. 

Apartment demand is soaring at a decade-high level, while office vacancy rates have spiked, and hybrid working-from-home situations are emerging to be the new normal. This has prompted the question of converting vacant office buildings into housing, particularly multifamily rental housing or owner-occupied condominiums. NAR's latest study―Analysis and Case Studies on Office-to-Housing Conversions― shows a strong potential for conversion of Class B office units in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston, but little potential in Washington DC and San Francisco. In 22 markets that have been hit hardest by the pandemic, about 45,000 housing units can be created, or 6% of housing starts.

Read More

Related Stories


Asking Rents Continued to Rise in April, But at a Slower Pace

An overheated rental market may finally be cooling down, but prices remain at record highs in most major metros

Build to Rent

What's Fueling a Red-Hot Rental Market?

Apartments are in high demand across the U.S. as unsuccessful homebuyers flood the rental market in record numbers

Housing Markets

The Best and Worst U.S. Cities for Buyers and Renters

Renting is just as unaffordable as buying a home in some major U.S. metros


More in Category


Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.

Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.