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PARIS-French Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy has called for office space to be converted into housing to address the shortage of residential property in the Paris Ile-de-France region. He also wants to relax building restrictions to increase housing density in areas of tight supply.

Sarkozy has asked Housing Minister Benoist Apparu “to look at measures concerning the 65 million square feet of office space which will no longer be in use in the years ahead”. Following his election in 2007, Sarkozy set out to boost home ownership to 70% but is still some way short of this target. “There are 48% of home owners in Ile-de-France and 65% in the rest of the country. We need to take measures to increase supply,” he said recently in a speech.

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