Lessons from Mascot Towers: Supporting Off the Plan Buyers


Recent Australian building approvals data showed building activity is set to pick up over 2020.

Toward the end of last year, unit approvals in Victoria more than doubled and New South Wales saw similar results. The ABS data shows 667,000 apartments have been constructed since 2000, and there are plans to build another 140,000 apartments across the country.

Off-the-plan apartments are popular with first home buyers because it’s easier to break into the property market. Off-the-plan developments typically mean the owner only needs to put down an initial 10 per cent deposit and pay the remainder at settlement, once construction is complete.

The time it takes for construction to be completed (which can sometimes be years) gives buyers the time to save up more money to pay their loan faster.

However, first home buyers are likely to need more support than others when making an off-the plan purchase, simply because the home purchasing process is new to them.

Changes that occur over time like cooling off periods and developer funds reinforces how important it is for all parties to conduct their due diligence.

While technically due diligence can only be conducted on existing properties, it is important to make sure the relevant protections are in place to look after all those involved in any property transaction.

Before your client signs off on a property, it is absolutely vital they have building inspections completed to ensure everything is safe and operational.

This includes ensuring there are no foundational issues with the property. This could have been especially useful for owners of Sydney’s troubled Mascot Towers.

In February, reports emerged of new cracks in the façade masonry, dashing all hopes that residents would be able to return home, eight months after the initial foundational issues were uncovered.

▲ According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, over 667,000 apartments have been constructed since 2000. Currently, there are plans to build another 140,000 apartments all over the country.
▲ According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, over 667,000 apartments have been constructed since 2000. Currently, there are plans to build another 140,000 apartments all over the country.

PlanIT is an electronic solution by InfoTrack that simplifies the complexities of handling multi-lot and off-the-plan developments. The PlanIT platform allows you to create a master contract, which will then generate individual contracts for each lot within a subdivision.

These individual contracts are easily edited from a master or lot level. When it is time for signing, contracts can be executed electronically as an e-contract from anywhere or simply printed in hard copy.

PlanIT provides you with access to reporting at any time and the transparent nature of this reporting allows you to check the progress of the development anywhere, at any time.

This will be particularly useful in light of recent updates where in January, NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler announced a ratings tool for developers, builder and certifiers who will be rated on their record of building failures, finances, complaints, insurance claims and other such factors.

Keeping track of all those involved in a development is key to keeping them accountable.

Using innovative technology and working smarter and more efficiently, by using tools that will help your business, enables you to service your clients better and more quickly.

Technology can help you streamline the mundane tasks, so that you have more time for your clients.

As the property market is picking up, especially in Sydney and Melbourne, now is the time to think about what you can do to stay ahead and protect your clients, whilst enhancing your reputation for a stronger future.

To get ahead and grow your firm, get started with InfoTrack to find out more how you can better manage off-the-plan developments.

The Urban Developer is proud to partner with InfoTrack to deliver this article to you. In doing so, we can continue to publish our free daily news, information, insights and opinion to you, our valued readers.

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