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Brussels' under-used offices increasingly converted into homes

16:17 20/04/2024

A quarter of new housing in Brussels is converted from office spaces, according to a new edition of’s office observatory.

The 40th issue of the observatory focused in particular on office redevelopment, RTBF reports.

Office occupancy was impacted by changes in work organisation, including an increase in the number of people remote-working at least part of the time.

“Adaptations to office occupancy linked to changes in work organisation will continue over the coming years, in line with renovations and the signing of new leases,” said Antoine de Borman, managing director of

Those changes open up opportunities for innovation, the report found.

In 2021, the conversion of offices into housing contributed around 23% of net housing production in the Brussels region.

The former Royale Belge building in Watermael-Boitsfort, the Victoria Tower in Saint-Josse and the Brouck'R project, currently under way, are all emblematic projects involving the conversion of buildings towards a more mixed use.

Other findings of the report concluded that office space in Brussels fell slightly between 2020 and 2022 (down 1.7%) to reach 12.5 million m², while at the same time, office vacancy (non-occupation pending sale or letting) continued to rise, reaching 8.7%.

These vacancies are not evenly distributed across the region, however. In the Louise district, for example, unoccupied space rose more sharply than in the European district.

The report also noted that 624,000m² of new office space has been approved, although that amount might not necessarily be built.

Overall, while the year 2021 was marked by an exceptional and unprecedented conversion of 182,000m² of office space to other uses, conversions in 2022 fell back to a more moderate level (116,000m²).

In 2021-2022, housing still accounted for the majority of new uses for old office space, followed by hotels and facilities.

Written by Helen Lyons