Housing Conversions Will Be a Fix for Empty Offices—but Not Yet

City landlords are fighting a losing battle against the home office. Converting old workplaces into housing is a solution, but asset values need to fall further for this to happen in big numbers.

Most offices haven’t returned to normal since Covid-19 lockdowns were lifted. Occupancy in top U.S. office markets is almost half prepandemic levels, employee swipe-card data from Kastle Systems shows. In Europe, occupancy levels are 43% on average, according to Savills.

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