THERE is a growing trend of commercial property being converted into homes in Spain, especially in urban areas such as Madrid. The capital has about 14,000 empty commercial units, a lot of spare stock in a city where housing is at a premium. Shops are the most common conversion as the high street changes due to the impact of online shopping and growth of out of town commercial centres.
Among the main buyers are the elderly who prefer to live on the ground floor as well as some families who are purchasing the ground floor and also a flat to make a large living space. The downside is the cost of the conversion, although the purchase price of the building is usually much lower than a normal house or apartment.