- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 13 Aug 2018
A guide to investing in off-plan property in the UK
Buying a property off-plan means purchasing the property before it has been built. This can be a risky move, but it can also be very rewarding, especially where property prices are increasing.
 The off-plan buying process
The buying process for off-plan property can be slightly different to what some people may be used to, so it is important to understand the process before making a decision to purchase off-plan. The process is as follows:
- Research different developments and consult a mortgage advisor to discuss your own personal circumstances and how they may impact your investment.
- Pay a reservation fee to reserve your property.
- Arrange for the legal elements of your property purchase to be handled by a professional conveyancer.
- Get a mortgage put into place for your property (should you need one) by searching for the right product and discussing your circumstances with experts, in order to find the best solution for you.
- Complete all paperwork and signatures, exchange contracts with the seller and make payment of the deposit.
- Ensure that a snagging survey is conducted close to the completion date, so that you can be sure that there are no issues to worry about.
- Be ready for when the project is officially completed. The short stop date would detail the expected date of completion, whilst the long stop date would detail the date which the project has to be completed by.
 Off-plan property advantages
- A developer is likely to deal with the property transaction in-house, making the whole process less complex than some may imagine.
- Some developers ensure that a management company is in place before the transaction, meaning that the management and maintenance of the property, as well as the sourcing of tenants, may already be taken care of.
- The purchase price is likely to be lower than similar existing properties on the market, due to the fact that the developer is the only other party involved in the process.
- It is likely that the value of the property will increase from the initial purchase.
- Off-plan properties are brand new, meaning that no additional work should need to be done before renting or occupying the property. Some developers even offer furniture packs to make the whole process even quicker.
 Off-plan property disadvantages
- As off-plan properties are purchased whilst in construction, they are often delayed.
- It can be difficult to secure a mortgage for an off-plan property, and it is likely that there will need to be cash in reserve.
- The biggest risk for off-plan properties, despite being very rare, is that the development company become bankrupt and are unable to complete the project. To minimise the risk of this, work with a trusted company that has years of experience.
--HopwoodHouse 12:41, 31 May 2018 (BST)
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
'Developed design' is a phrase coined by the RIBA for their 2013 Plan of Work. But what does it actually mean?
New green paper published aiming to rebalance the relationship between landlords and residents and tackle stigma.
RIBA calls for a comprehensive ban on combustible materials.
Lump sum contracts can be referred to as ‘fixed price’ contracts, although strictly this is not correct. Find out more here.
Ramboll offer guidance to civil engineers on how to make projects 'off-site ready'.
Government announces its Rough Sleeping Strategy, with further funding for social housing.
An overlooked architect who deserves to be celebrated for his wide range of buildings.
The Home Quality Mark ONE technical manuals for new homes are now available.
Read our introductory article to 'Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning' (HVAC) in buildings.
BIG's first of two twisting towers in Manhattan tops out.
Is data an untapped goldmine for productivity? How the infrastructure sector can capitalise on the opportunity.