Land and property

Land and property is an area where some progress has been made toward converting to metric units, but the process is far from complete.

All plans for new building and development are submitted using metric units.

Surveying and measuring on a building site is done in metric.

Many building materials (such as cement) are sold in rational metric sizes – but not all – e.g. timber is sold by the metre but the profile is commonly expressed in inches.

Within the commercial property business there is now increasing usage of metric units, and offices will sometimes be advertised in square metres (m2) and industrial estates in hectares (ha). However, the residential property market remains predominantly imperial with many estate agents giving dimensions exclusively in yards, feet and inches.

Acres are no longer permitted for land registration and have been replaced by hectares.

UKMA believes that the only way to resolve this situation is to require property advertisements to give exclusively metric dimensions and areas – perhaps along the lines of the metric “Home Label” which we have described elsewhere. We see no benefit in a transitional period during which supplementary indications would be permitted since most purchasers only buy properties at widely spaced intervals and it is unlikely that more than a small proportion of properties would be purchased within a transitional period.