Talking Points: From the off

When it comes to buying off-plan, on balance, the pros outweigh the cons, say our experts  Unless you’re into super yachts or space rockets, buying a property is likely to be the biggest outlay of your life. It may seem risky, but buying off-plan is an increasingly popular strategy for home-seekers looking to secure a property at an early stage of investment. Essentially, buying off-plan refers to the purchase of a home before it’s completed or even before construction begins, basing your decision purely on architectural plans and the promises of a developer to deliver on spec – and on time.

Rosy Khalastchy heads up Beauchamp Estates’ St. John’s Wood office. She tells us: “Buying off-plan can be daunting,  as there is nothing to see except a brochure and plans, and if you’re fortunate, a model. It is therefore essential to know the developer and see any examples of other developments they  have completed. It is also advisable that the specifications included are clearly documented and form part of the legal specifications of what you are buying. And where possible, it would be good to see samples of the final specs for kitchens, bathrooms and fitted units.”

One obvious advantage of buying off-plan is that it often allows investors to snap up a property at a lower price than  its market value upon completion. As the property market appreciates over time, off-plan buyers can benefit from capital appreciation, potentially yielding substantial profits while they wait to move in. Another advantage is having the opportunity to customise and personalise your new home to your own discerning taste. Glentree’s Lauren Abrahmsohn points out:  “Why take what you are given when you could choose off-plan exactly what you want?” Take the plunge to buy off-plan and you can often choose your own interior finishes, fixtures and fittings, right down to the finest details.

“Quite apart from anything else you can choose your décor scheme and we all know how emotive this can be, and how it rankles when you have to accept a colour scheme that is not of your choosing,” says Lauren. “It reminds me of Henry Ford and his choice of colour for his Model T car: you can have any colour you want, as long as it’s black!”

Brent Cross Town Off Plan

While you may have your head in a book of paint colour samples now, it’s vital you do the homework and ensure your developer lives up to their promises once your home is complete, and for that you’ll need to whip out the tape measure. Rosy advises: “Check that the specification has been delivered, both in terms of layout, room sizes, finish, and appliances. If the specification states that built-in wardrobes are included, then they need to be there. Buying off-plan does give you a brand-new home, but as those who’ve purchased off-plan before will know, you will invariably get some snagging issues and will need to factor these into the process.”; 

Take 3

Templars Court

Templars Court, NW11

Nestled in a leafy Temple Fortune is this boutique collection of eight new houses. Featuring luxury en suite bedrooms, high-spec kitchens with Miele appliances, private landscaped gardens and coveted off-street parking, these brand-new homes offer luxury modern living at its best.

From £1.8 million, Glentree (020 8731 9500;

Brent Cross Town

Brent Cross Town, NW2

This ambitious £8 billion project is a joint venture between Barnet Council and trusted developers Related Argent, who have a track record on delivering to the highest specification. Excitingly, we’re promised workspaces, parks, schools, and even a brand-new high street, too.

To register your interest, visit

St John’s Wood Park

St John’s Wood Park, NW8

The handiwork of award-winning architects Maccreanor Lavington, this luxe new development, desirably located on the east side of St. John’s Wood, features nine apartments including two penthouses. Expect utterly elegant living spaces finished to the highest standards.

From £1.65 million, Aston Chase (020 7724 4724;