Sixty five per cent of global banking executives believe bank branches will be ‘dead’ by 2026. More than 480 bank branches in the UK are expected to close their doors in 2021 alone. However, the closure of bank branches coupled with the new national Permitted Development (PD) right is creating exciting Buy-to-Let property investment opportunities on the high street.

The new PD right, which came into force on 21 April 2021, enables developers to create new homes through the change of use from commercial business and service uses (Class E) to residential (Class C3). The legislation applies to buildings with a cumulative floor space of less than 1,500 square metres. The retail sector is also experiencing a decline in its physical high street presence, brought about by the continued growth in online shopping.

Despite the decline, town and city centres are definitely not dead; they are evolving. Experts predict that town and city centres will be dominated by food, drink and entertainment outlets, delivering an experience to visitors and residents.

The government’s Future High Streets Fund actively supports the change of use of buildings to housing. Its High Streets and Town Centres in 2030 report, sates that: ‘Green space, leisure, arts and culture and health and social care services must combine with housing to create a space that is the “intersection of human life and activity” based primarily on social interactions rather than financial transactions.’

As the face of the high street evolves, opportunities are now arising for landlords and investors alike to remodel and revitalise vacant high street units into residential Buy-to-Let dwellings, bringing new life and communities to town and city centres.

Supporting investors to take advantage of forthcoming opportunities in town and city centres, Bridge Help’s Buy-To-Let loan rate is one of the most competitive in the short-term finance marketplace, which also has the added bonus of having no exit fees. Additionally, brokers can benefit from an attractive 1.5 per cent commission.

Chris Sellars, Chief Executive of Bridge Help commented: “Whether you’re a new investor looking to build your property portfolio or a landlord looking to convert retail into residential, the changing face of the high street is a fantastic opportunity for profitable ventures.”

For investors who want to act quickly and secure an investment property, Bridge Help has a shared commitment with brokers and borrowers to getting things done quickly and efficiently provide finance of up to 75% of the value – for property and land development, retail, Buy-to Let and auction bridging loans.

If you’re looking for a short-term loan for commercial property development and would like to speak to one of our business development team in your region, contact Bridge Help on 033 3303 4681.