It is not widely known, as a homeowner you also own the space above your property and by law are permitted to sell it. In cities like London, planners and developers need to use every available inch to create new living spaces and of course that can include rooftops.
Airspace has become an article of trade and can be negotiated in the same way as building or land. “There’s an estimated £54 billion worth of roof space in London,” says Haroon Bhatti, the investment director of Apex Housing Group in London.
A report his company delivered together with architectures HTA Design computed that rooftops could deliver enough space for 180,000 extra dwellings across London, and that is without even considering the space above industrial buildings or supermarkets and warehouses.
This evolving method of construction could be the answer for much-needed reasonably priced homes while dodging huge costs for land, says Bhatti.
While there are plenty of firms offering homeowners the chance to extend their existing home with a loft expansion, there are few niche developers concentrating on the use of roof space, with most seeking to develop luxury penthouses.
For further construction, roofs must be flat, and have space for an access point, for example, an exterior staircase. The final outcome will often be light and airy, higher than neighbouring structures, and with terraces and great views.
The value of your residential or commercial airspace depends on location, size, and appropriateness for development. The structure needs to be strong enough for additional construction and what it is worth will also depend on how many units can be added. For private developers not all roofs are adaptable, so this kind of construction is thus far developing in central London, where property values are extortionate, and a good profit is attainable.