The Complete 2024 Guide to Off-Plan Property Investment
  • July 18th, 2023

The Complete 2024 Guide to Off-Plan Property Investment

Off-plan property investment is an attractive option for many investors looking to get into the UK real estate market. And with off-plan purchases accounting for 37% of all home sales in England and Wales—increasing from 35% in 2020—this figure is expected to skyrocket further in the coming years.

Like all investments, off-plan property investment does come with risks, such as project delays. However, with the right research and advice—our core value at Baron & Cabot—you can find excellent UK property investment opportunities. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to invest in off-plan property in the UK with confidence. Let’s get started!

What Is Off-Plan Property Investment? (How Does It Work?)

Investing in off-plan property means buying a property before it has been built. For investors, this means getting in early and securing a property at a lower price.

You can buy off-plan properties at a lower price point compared to the market value once the property has been built. This allows you to benefit from capital appreciation as the property value increases. Also, off-plan investments typically have a higher rental yield — since you’re buying at a lower cost, the rent covers a bigger portion of your mortgage payments.

Off-plan properties with Baron & Cabot require a refundable holding deposit to reserve, typically between £2,000 and £5,000. A 20–25% deposit is then required within 28 days, and the rest of the balance upon completion. The final balance can be paid via cash or a mortgage.

off plan property investment

Many investors buy off-plan property to benefit from the capital growth from inception to completion. Off-plan property generally demands higher rental yields as they offer modern luxuries, a high-quality finish, and amenities generally unavailable in older buildings. Moreover, off-plan property is often built in growing areas, where investors can benefit from the ongoing redevelopment and the rising property prices in those areas.

Naturally, buying off-plan can come with risks if you don’t choose a reputable developer. For example, the project could face delays. On the bright side, partnering with Baron & Cabot eliminates this risk, as we do our due diligence on developers we work with. Also, every property we source goes through our 122-point checklist, ensuring you only get reliable deals.

4 Benefits of Investing in Off-Plan Property

Off-plan property investments in the UK offer some attractive perks for investors:

Listed below are four main benefits of investing in off-plan property:

  1. Capital appreciation potential
  2. Choice of the best units
  3. Little to no valuation issues
  4. High rental demand

1. Capital Appreciation Potential

Buying early in the development process means the property value could increase substantially when construction is complete. The closer it gets to completion, the more the value typically rises.

2. Choice of the Best Units

By reserving early, you get the first pick of the floor plans and can choose a unit in the ideal location within the building with the best views and features.

3. Little to No Valuation Issues

Buying off-plan eliminates the risk of a property not valuing at the agreed-upon purchase price, which can happen if you buy an existing property. Rather, in this case, the final valuation won’t be determined until construction is finished.

4. High Rental Demand

Newly constructed properties, especially in desirable or up-and-coming areas, often have strong rental demand. This implies good opportunities for generating rental income and healthy yields for investors.


While off-plan real estate investments, like any investment, can come with risks, the risk/reward ratio is well worth it for investors. With professional guidance from UK property investment experts, off-plan property can prove lucrative.

4 Steps to Finding the Best Off-Plan Property Investments

You should be prepared to do your homework if you’re keen on pinpointing the best investment opportunities for off-plan property in the UK. However, trusting your investments with Baron & Cabot means you don't have to worry about researching the best properties to invest in — saving you time and money.

property investment

Nonetheless, if you want to go at it alone, here are four steps to help you uncover prime opportunities:

  1. Research areas of high demand.
  2. Identify reputable developers.
  3. Check for any buying incentives.
  4. Plan your exit strategy.

Tip #1: Research areas of high demand.

  • Look for up-and-coming areas with solid infrastructure and job growth attracting young professionals and families. These neighbourhoods will likely see property values rise over the next several years.
  • Check sites like Rightmove and Zoopla to view listings and see which areas have the most new builds coming to market. More new developments signal high demand.
  • We’ve also put together comprehensive insights on the UK property market; be sure to check it out, as the resources therein can be instrumental in helping you determine the ideal investment location.

Tip #2: Identify reputable developers.

  • Stick with established developers that have a proven track record of completing high-quality projects on time and within budget. And sure, you can count on us at Baron & Cabot — we don’t just help you make the right property investment decisions, but all our actions are backed-up by well-rounded research data.
  • Review the developer’s other completed communities to assess the quality, design, and construction.
  • Search online for reviews from people who have purchased from the developer before. Look for mostly positive reviews mentioning good customer service, excellent project management, etc.

Note: We’ll expound more on those set criteria to look out for when assessing an off-plan property developer later in this post.

Tip #3: Check for any buying incentives.

  • Off-plan properties often come with incentives like discounts, stamp duty paid, rental guarantees, and furniture packages since the developer wants to secure buyers early on.
  • Most mortgage offers are valid for 3–6 months from the issue date, so if the property completion date falls within this timeframe, consider getting pre-approved for a mortgage before making an offer. This shows the developer you’re serious and can close quickly. It also means you know exactly how much you can afford to offer.
  • At Baron & Cabot, we only require you to make a deposit of £2,000–£3,000, followed by a 20–25% deposit within 28 days; the rest is paid upon completion.

Note: We’ll also talk more about these in the sections to come.

Tip #4: Plan your exit strategy.

  • Think about how long you want to hold the property and your target selling price. This will help determine if the potential for capital appreciation and rental income in that area will meet your goals.
  • For buy-to-let investments, look for properties and locations that will attract long-term tenants. Low-maintenance, energy-efficient new builds are ideal.

Remember, we can always assist you so that you won’t have to go through the stress of looking for a suitable property to invest in.

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Off-Plan Property Developer

We can’t overstate the need for due diligence before investing in off-plan property. One of the tips outlined in the preceding section is selecting reputable developers — as an investor, you need to feel confident the developer will deliver what they promise. And at Baron & Cabot, our robust vetting process gives you that assurance.

off plan property investor developer

Here are five criteria to look out for in an off-plan property developer:

  1. Track record and experience
  2. Financial stability
  3. Reputation and reviews
  4. After-sales service

1. Track Record and Experience

Look for developers with a proven track record of completed, high-quality projects. Check how long they’ve been in business and their level of experience with off-plan developments. More experience means they’re better equipped to handle challenges that may arise.

2. Financial Stability

Ensure the developer is financially buoyant to see the project through to completion. Review their accounts to determine available cash flow and debt levels. High debt could indicate potential financial trouble that may stall construction.

3. Reputation and Reviews

Search online for reviews and ratings from previous buyers and industry experts. You want to ensure you only go for a developer with a reputation for transparency, meeting deadlines, and delivering high build quality. In the same vein, be wary of those with a history of hidden fees, budget overruns, or inadequate workmanship.

4. After-Sales Service

Consider the after-sales service and who’ll handle property management. Reputable developers often provide initial property management and defect liability periods. They have a vested interest in high customer satisfaction and protecting their reputation.


Conducting in-depth due diligence may seem tedious, but it’s worthwhile. Choosing a reputable, experienced developer with a proven track record will give you greater confidence in the investment and help avoid potential pitfalls. At Baron & Cabot, we handle this entire process for you so you can invest with peace of mind; contact us for info on how to get started today.

Off-Plan Property in Manchester: A Top Location for High Returns

Manchester is one of the UK’s top locations for off-plan property investment and high returns, and for valid reasons, as we’ll observe below.

Strong Rental Demand and Capital Appreciation

With a minimum of a 0.73% increase in the last four years, Manchester’s population is growing rapidly, creating massive demand for rental accommodation. Capital appreciation is also strong, with property values in Northwestern England expected to increase by over 17% in the next three years.

Major Regeneration Underway

Massive investment in infrastructure and regeneration across Manchester is transforming the city. Key projects like MediaCityUK, NOMA, and the Oxford Road Corridor are creating new residential and commercial districts with excellent amenities. This regeneration is attracting major employers, driving job creation and economic growth.

Affordability and High Yields

Manchester property is relatively affordable compared to London and the South East. When you invest in the right location and development, you can achieve 6–7% yields, enlisting it among the best places to invest in property in the UK.

Several Investment Hotspots

Some of the best areas for off-plan investment in Manchester include the following:

  • Ancoats: A trendy urban area with lots of redevelopment. Close to the city centre, with rents increasing by over 13% in two years.
  • New Islington: A vibrant waterfront community with stylish apartments. Rents have spiked by over 7% recently due to strong demand.
  • Piccadilly: The area around Piccadilly Station is seeing huge investment, with many new residential towers under construction. Rents and capital values are rising fast here.
  • Salford Quays: This popular waterfront district is home to MediaCityUK. New-build apartments achieve excellent yields and strong growth due to the massive number of jobs created here.

Off-plan property investments in Manchester offer fantastic opportunities for investors seeking high returns. With its perfect combination of regeneration, job growth, affordability, and lifestyle appeal, Manchester should be at the top of your list for off-plan investment in the UK.

property investment

Off-Plan Property in Birmingham: A Destination With Strong Growth Potential

Birmingham is England’s second-largest city and a major business hub, attracting strong investment in its property market. Off-plan properties in Birmingham offer exciting growth opportunities due to the trends outlined below.

A Prospering City

Birmingham’s economy has prospered in recent years. For one, major employers like Jaguar Land Rover, IBM, and HSBC have headquarters here. Birmingham also has a fast-growing tech sector and a revitalised city centre. All of this economic activity is driving up demand for housing.

New Developments Underway

Several large residential developments are underway, like Smithfield and Snow Hill Wharf. These feature high-rise apartments and townhomes in desirable city-centre locations. Investing in off-plan properties in these developments allows you to get in at a lower cost before values rise. You can also often secure rental guarantees from the developers.

Strong Rental Demand

Birmingham has a large student population and young professional demographic, so demand for rentals is high. Off-plan investment properties in Birmingham typically offer yields of around 6.56%. Due to such high yields, many investors are attracted to Birmingham.

Capital Appreciation Potential

Property values in Birmingham have risen steadily over the past decade, and this trend is expected to continue, especially in up-and-coming neighbourhoods. According to Savills, property prices in the area should experience a 24% bump by 2025. Buying off-plan allows you to purchase at today’s prices but benefit from this future price growth.

Opportunities to Consider When Scouting Out an Off-Plan Property for Sale in the UK

The UK property market currently presents attractive opportunities for off-plan property investment. With various new build developments underway across the country, investors can take advantage of discounted prices by reserving early.

off plan property investor developer

Let’s examine the key ones below.

Major Cities

Many of the top opportunities are located in major cities like London, Manchester, Birmingham, and Leeds. These urban centres feature strong population and job growth, fueling demand for housing. Investors who get in early can benefit from significant capital appreciation over the lifetime of the investment.

Transport Hubs

Areas around new or improved transport hubs often see an influx of investment and development. For example, major rail projects like the HS2 rail line (the planned high-speed rail line connecting London, Birmingham, Leeds, and Manchester) are catalysing residential and commercial development along its route. In light of this, investing in property near future transport links is a smart strategy.

Student Accommodation

Purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) is an attractive niche sector. With over 2.8 million students in higher education across the UK, quality student housing remains in high demand. Investors can earn stable rental income from student lets during the academic year. What’s more, many PBSA developments are eligible for tax relief programs, enhancing returns.

Holiday Lets

Holiday lets, especially in scenic or historic areas of the UK, are appealing for off-plan investment. New build holiday home developments in destinations like the Lake District, the Cotswolds, Cornwall, and the Scottish Highlands are ideal for short-term vacation rentals. Investors can generate income through holiday letting platforms and benefit from any capital gains on the property value.


Off-plan opportunities abound in the UK property market for investors seeking discounted entry points and long-term growth potential. With professional guidance, off-plan investment can be a rewarding strategy for portfolio diversification and wealth creation. The team at Baron & Cabot is well-equipped to help you navigate the range of opportunities and find the right property solutions for your needs — reach out to us today for more info.

Frequently Asked Questions on Off-Plan Property Investment

Should I invest in off-plan property?

Yes, if you can manage the risk. Off-plan property investment offers many benefits but also comes with risks you should consider.


  • Often cheaper than existing property: You can get in at a lower price before values rise.
  • Tax efficiency: In the UK, you pay lower stamp duty on new builds.
  • Higher rental yields: Newer properties usually command higher rents.
  • Lower maintenance: Everything is new, so fewer repairs are needed.


  • Risk of delays: The development could face delays in construction.
  • Values could fall: In some cases, property values could decrease before the home is built, leaving you with negative equity.
  • Limited choice: You have to choose from the developer’s options, often with limited customisation.
  • May be challenging to finance: Banks view off-plan property as higher risk, so mortgages may be harder to obtain without the help of property experts.

Whether off-plan property investment is right for you depends on your risk tolerance and investment goals. For many buy-to-let investors, the potential rewards outweigh the risks if you go in with realistic expectations. However, never invest money you can’t afford to lose in case values fall or the development faces major setbacks/delays.

How does off-plan property work?

Off-plan property allows you to reserve a home before it’s built. You sign a reservation agreement, pay a deposit, and the developer builds the property. Once complete, you pay the remaining amount and take ownership.


In summary, off-plan property investment provides an opportunity to invest early and see significant returns on your investment over the long run. While it may seem complicated to pinpoint viable off-plan investment opportunities, if you do your research, find the right property in an up-and-coming area, and work with reputable developers, you can build wealth through real estate without the hassle of ongoing maintenance and tenant issues.

So, what are you waiting for?

Contact us today to help you do the research, and take your first step towards building a lucrative real estate portfolio in the UK. The opportunities are out there; you just have to take action!

Disclaimer: Any information provided by Baron & Cabot does not constitute financial advice and is for educational purposes only.