How to buy the best off-plan property in London (Part 1)

The off-plan property research to get the best rental income properties

When you invest in property, it’s important to do your homework. Good research is the basis of how to value an investment property. It’s the same with off-plan property research. When you buy off-plan property, you should be buying excellent rental income properties.

The probable discount you’ll receive builds in a higher rental yield. And you’ll have a new product that tenants want to rent − but only if you’ve done your property research and due diligence work. If you don’t do your off-plan property research, you could end up like Bill, who did next to no investment research or due diligence.

Here are the elements that you’ll need to consider when buying off-plan property.

Three major elements of off-plan property research

Infrastructure and regeneration

These are two of the fundamentals of successful property investment. You’ll want to know that the development is in a location where people want to live. Increasingly we find that tenants expect access to good public transport. Mobile Millennials are moving more frequently for work. Look for areas where rental properties are in demand. People want to live near retail, leisure, restaurants, nightlife, and schools.

Probably the best off-plan property in London is in areas where urban regeneration is taking off. You’ll probably be looking at locations like Southall, which is benefitting from Crossrail, or Elephant & Castle, for example.

Know the local market and off-plan property value

Understanding the local market is important.

Even though you’ll probably buy off-plan property at an attractive discount to value, never rely on the developer’s valuation alone. Speak to local estate agents and lettings agents to get a feel for property values and the demand for rental income properties. You can research online to find recent sold prices and rental prices. Look at the recent history of local property prices: have they been going up or moving down?

Discover the type of tenant that is dominant. Buying a one-bedroom off-plan property probably won’t be a good investment in an area that is 90% families.

Ask how many other properties on the development have been sold to investors as rental income properties. It will give you an idea of the competition you’ll face for tenants upon completion.

The property

Before investing in an off-plan property, make sure that the specifications and dimensions are suitable for your target market. A family will have different needs to a millennial. Make sure the development’s amenities are suitable, too. A swimming pool and gym sound great, but parking spaces will be more important for families with children.

Don’t rely on computer-generated images to show you how the development will look and what it will look onto. Visit the site to make sure what you have been told is accurate.

Finally, try and secure one of the properties with the best position. The earlier you do your off-plan property research and the earlier you buy, the more likely you are to nab a great rental income property at a substantial discount from market value.

Off-plan property research is an intensive process, but it’s one that’s worth all the effort. Our due diligence process is just one of the things we do differently to other property investment companies.  Contact the team today on +44 (0)207 923 6100 to discover how we research the development, the developer, and the cash flow potential of every development we’re offered. It’s why our clients have access to the very best rental income properties on new developments.

Live with passion


Brett Alegre-Wood
September 20, 2016

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