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Buying Off-Plan

Posted: May 2013

By Jo Eccles

London has a huge pipeline of new developments which will be completed over the next decade, and it’s been fascinating to see the different plans and architecture unfold – and it will be even more so when the developments are actually built.

So, how do you get your hands on one if you’re in the market to buy a new build property? Unfortunately, most of the new London developments are marketed in Asia before the UK, so you’re often not seeing the best units.

Asia based buyers have a huge appetite for London property, and most of the developers will do a road show in Asia to market their developments before releasing the development to UK buyers. The road shows tend to be quite slick, with developers hiring suites in the best hotels where they can display their models of the development and fill the room with their sales teams and solicitors. Buyers can visit the suite, and many exchange there and then in the hotel room.

All of these are ‘off plan’ sales, in other words, the buyer is purchasing a property based on the property plans and marketing details because the development isn’t actually built yet. It’s typically only after the road show that a developer will then release any unsold properties to the UK market. It can be really frustrating that as a UK buyer you can’t take your pick of the best properties.

We work with lots of buyers who are keen to jump the queue, and because we have relationships with the new build teams of the biggest estate agents or developers, we can often get access to the properties early.

We recently bought four off plan flats for a client in a development in Putney which hasn’t been released in the UK yet, and I doubt it ever will be because it’s selling so well in Asia. Our client has four children and was keen to buy them each an identical property, to save any arguments later on! That’s one of the beauties of new developments, and because we got in there early, we were able to take our pick.

If you have a question you’d like Jo to answer please email info@sppropertygroup.com or tweet her @joeccles.