CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

Property advice – Buying off-plan

PUBLISHED: 12:17 22 April 2014 | UPDATED: 12:17 22 April 2014

Royal Keys, Savills

Royal Keys, Savills


Buying a new home off-plan in a rising market offers a range of advantages over purchasing an older property, says Roger Pollard, head of Savills’ Northwood office

Latest research by Savills indicates that house values in the Home Counties will rise by between 23 per cent and 25 per cent by the end of 2018 for prime property and by as much as 31.9 per cent for main stream property over the same period. Much of this is attributed to the increasing number of individuals looking to capitalise on the value of their London homes as they seek more house and land for their money away from the capital.

Additionally, Savills research has asserted that the Help to Buy Scheme introduced by the Government last year, has been pivotal in contributing towards boosting sales of new homes markets outside London and throughout the south east, supporting 12,875 sales since its inception in April last year.

Given the positive prognosis of the residential market, for many considering purchasing a new home, there are certain advantages to buying into a development off-plan.

One of the concerns purchasers often have with buying into a new development is the inability to put their own mark on the property. One of the main benefits of purchasing a new home off-plan (such as at the Savills Northwood-marketed Royal Keys in Berkhamsted, pictured, where nearly 50 per cent of the development has been sold or reserved off-plan since October) is choosing fixtures and fittings to suit personal taste, ensuring a purchaser will like every aspect of their new bathroom or kitchen. Irrespective of whether a purchaser buys a new home or a period house, it is rare they will like absolutely every aspect of their new home and, even rarer that they will have the budget to immediately rectify aspects they do not like. So having the ability to choose fixtures and fittings presents an attractive opportunity.

The other obvious benefit of purchasing off-plan in a rising market is that you pay the price for the property as it is valued at the point of sale – not the point of completion. Therefore, in a rising market, the value is likely to have already increased by the time the property has been completed and it is time for the purchaser to move in.

However, buyers do need to fully appreciate the binding nature of the contract they are signing. The advantages of buying off-plan in a rising market are counteracted by the disadvantages should the market be losing value. While it seems unlikely the market value will fall in the immediate future, it is something purchasers should bear in mind. As a result, the importance of purchasing through a reputable agent and a reputable developer cannot be underestimated. We would always advise purchasers to use a solicitor who specialises in off-plan contracts and will be in the strongest position to flag up any potential pitfalls.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Homes & Gardens

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Listed for its architectural and historical importance, this mansion is for sale through Strutt and Parker

Read more
November 2018
Monday, October 8, 2018

A 16th century farmhouse gave a father and daughter the chance to both fulfil childhood dreams

Read more
October 2018
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As we head into Autumn, the change in season is all around us. From the leaves on the trees turning burnt orange and fiery red, to dark mornings and nights bookending our days. As we put the clocks back an hour to battle the darkness, here’s some top tips on how you can keep your home warm and costs down this Autumn.

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Nine bedroom Georgian country house for sale

Read more
September 2018
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Ten years in the making, this remarkable home in the former orchard of St Albans Cathedral is as bespoke as a property can be. It had Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud reeling

Read more
September 2018
Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural energy provider, Calor, gives some top tips for homeowners wanting to make their houses cosy and warm in time for the colder months.

Read more
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

How to tackle one of the most invasive plant species in the UK has resulted in innovative solutions, writes Charlotte Hussey of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Read more
August 2018

Owned by the same family for generations on the historic Moor Place estate at Much Hadham, Yew Tree House and its current remarkable owner are full of stories

Read more
August 2018
Monday, July 30, 2018

Buy a raffle ticket and you could be the owner of your own manor house

Read more
August 2018

In an idyllic little world of its own, inspirational eco-home Thrift Cottage in Burnham Green shows that living with nature can come, well, naturally

Read more
July 2018

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search