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Buying UK off plan property can be a savvy investment decision for those ready to invest in UK property this year, with anyone in the market for an off plan investment set to benefit from an expected rise in property values across the UK in the coming months.

By getting in early, investors can secure themselves a healthy return when developments are complete and come to the market. It ensures they are now able to purchase at 2018 prices – and often with a considerable discount – even when projects are not due to come to fruition for several years.

Off plan purchases are therefore an attractive option for anyone hoping to maximise their investment potential and who are happy to wait for their gains to emerge. As such, here are some of the top tips that anyone planning an off plan purchase this year should remember:

5 simple steps for UK off plan property investment

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Do your research

Always remember that any investment decision is only as good as the amount of research that goes into making it. Take the time to thoroughly research the local market for the area you hope to invest in, as well as any expected changes in property valuations. Failure to carry out this basic research could leave investors in a vulnerable position in future.

Identify your future goals

Once the basic research is carried out, set a target for what will be a positive outcome from your off plan investment. This means understanding the current valuation and where the market is likely to move to during the tenure of your ownership. By setting a realistic goal for returns, this enables investors to know when an investment has reached a successful outcome.

Seek independent advice

A financial advisor can provide key insight into the type of property purchase that will most suit your individual circumstances. Factors including whether investors are buying to let, to sell after completion, or to maintain long-term ownership will all impact the suitability of an off plan investment.

Have your deposit ready

As with any investment, investors buying UK off plan property should be able to move quickly when they identify a positive lead. As a result, it is important to have access to the necessary capital to be able to move swiftly and secure an off plan purchase when a suitable site is found.

Understand the buying process

Overall, these are the basic steps that investors should take when carrying out an off plan purchase:

  • Identify an attractive property for purchase
  • Reserve the property by paying a reservation fee
  • Appoint a conveyancer for the transaction
  • Arrange a mortgage and surveyor’s valuation based on developer’s plans
  • Complete paperwork, exchange contracts and pay deposit
  • In the final run-up to completion, arrange a ‘snagging survey’ to ensure the property has no defects
  • Complete the transaction – usually off plan buyers receive two completion dates: short stop (date that developer expects to complete by) and long stop (date that developer must complete by)
  • It is best to understand what you expect to achieve from a UK off plan property investment to help you make the right choice in terms of the development and property that is right for you. However, by following these 5 simple steps we’ve listed above, hopefully this process will be that much easier for all off plan property investors in 2018.