What’s Involved In The Property Development Process?

It would be easy to underestimate the complexity and care that goes into creating new property developments in the UK.

The desperate need for new housing is constantly making news headlines. So why don’t developers simply grab some land and solve the housing shortage with exciting new projects?

Once a person is safely tucked up in lovely new home, it’s even easier to forget the research and preparation that went into getting that fabulous roof over one’s head!

It’s worth looking at the property development process in detail, to fully appreciate how hard developers work to create the valuable new housing projects underway or planned in the UK.

Location, Location, Location

The starting point of any property development is the element that often takes the longest time. It involves hard work that goes largely unnoticed.

Finding the right location for any new housing requires extensive research, scouring the country for available space suitable for housing. That’s even before price negotiations to purchase the plot.

Property developers often must budget for a certain number of new sites each year that don’t go ahead. This can happen when local planning considerations or site issues make housing development unviable in that locality.

For example, a piece of land may be available at the right price, but includes geological features (like marshland) that make it too expensive to prepare for construction. Or, the local authority denies planning permission due to restricted access to the site.

Best Possible Footprint

Having found suitable land, a property developer needs to create architectural and landscape drawings to maximise use of the plot.

At this point, there is also a lot of research undertaken into the local property market. What size and type of home would be the best fit, in terms of meeting local needs and preferences?

It would be inappropriate to build spacious five-bedroom detached homes in an area which is badly in need of smaller townhouses, for example.

With an idea of which house specifications are most likely to sell, the developer maps out the site to make the best use of every square foot.

This has to include both space to build the houses but also sufficient room between each property to meet both statutory requirements and likely preferences.

For example, large detached new builds will need a reasonable garden area planned in, while townhouses often require easy maintenance communal spaces front and back.

Clearly, the best new housing developments also include well-designed landscaping for harmonious living.

Utilities And Roads

Property developers need to work closely with a wide range of local organisations to plan their sites and to schedule the work needed to build housing.

This includes the local highways agency, to ensure that any access roads required are built in a timely and proper manner.

Any work to lay cables and dig trenches needs to be carefully coordinated too, to supply water, sewage services, gas and electricity to the property sites.

New construction

After all this lengthy planning and consideration, the groundwork can finally begin. The site can be properly prepared for the construction teams to start their work.

The actual building work can take between 7 and 10 months to complete, depending on the size and scope of the project.

Every element of this phase is also carefully planned and managed. Bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, masons and landscapers all need to be coordinated to work efficiently together, and to a high standard.

Meanwhile, the property development marketing campaign is well underway, to attract eager new homeowners to the site. That starts as soon as the project gets the green light.

Handover And Beyond

The last part of a property development process is not the day the thrilled new owners receive their keys and move into their lovely new home.

Quality property developers have teams of professionals whose job it is to work with owners on any snags or issues that inevitably occur with new buildings. This service means tweaking and changing where necessary, to ensure that new homeowners are 100% happy.

Awais Ahmed is a student, blogger and digital marketer who helps small entrepreneurs to improve their online presence. He has a range of interests including technology, apps and small business.