The experienced property law and conveyancing team at Our Lawyers regularly review and advise on contracts for land in the Southern Highlands and Wollondilly.
We are familiar with the various contracts and developers and can provide expert advice to protect you and guide you through the process.
Land Releases Southern Highlands and Wollondilly
Are you thinking of building your dream home in the Southern Highlands? We are experiencing significant growth in our area and with that comes many new land releases.
If you are considering purchasing vacant land which is either registered or unregistered it’s important to ensure you know what you are buying and get the right legal advice before you commit to the purchase.
Below is a list of upcoming Land Releases in the Southern Highlands and Wollondilly to keep an eye on:
- Ashbourne, Moss Vale – https://ashbourne.com.au/ (previously known as Chelsea Gardens)
- Wilton Greens – https://wiltongreens.com.au/
- Darraby, Moss Vale – https://www.darraby.com.au/
- The Acres, Wollondilly – https://theacres.com.au/
- Vine Lodge Lane, Exeter – www.vinelodgelane.com.au
- Bingara Gorge (Wilton) – https://bingaragorge.com.au/
- Menangle Park – https://www.menanglepark.com.au/
- The Meadows, Marulan (via Carlton Real Estate) – https://www.carltonrealestate.com.au/buy/land-for-sale/
- Equinox – Marulan – https://equinoxmarulan.com.au/
- Willow Point, Tahmoor – https://www.willowpoint.com.au/
- Highlands, Wingello – https://www.realestate.com.au/property-residential+land-nsw-wingello-202504682
Frequently Asked Questions about purchasing vacant land:
1. How do I find out about when the land will be released?
It’s important to register your interest with each developer. They will keep your details on record and notify you of an upcoming land release. In our experience land sells quickly, so keep a keen eye on your emails or phones for alerts!
2. I was successful in my offer for a block of land – what now?
For unregistered lots of land the developer will usually ask you to place a holding deposit down to secure the lot you are interested it, this is usually 0.25% and non-refundable. When you make the offer and payment notify the developer of your lawyer and/or conveyancer and a sales advice will be issued to them.
3. What happens after the holding deposit is put down on land?
Once we receive the sales advice we will then receive the Contract for Sale of Land from the developer’s solicitor. This is the most important next step for us. We will review the contract in detail with you and advise you on your specific piece of land.
For vacant land it is important to know the easements and restrictions on the property. Many new developments have rules associated with the land in terms of building, fencing and landscaping restrictions and we discuss these with you. It is important to be aware of the restrictions and rules when you are considering your options for building.
4. What is an easement?
An easement is a part of the land you are purchasing which gives a right of way or access to another person or organisation. The most common easements in new developments are for access to services, for a drain for example.
Another example is an easement or right of access allowing your neighbour to access a portion of your property.
5. When do I pay the deposit?
The deposit is paid to the developer and/or agent when contracts are exchanged. For unregistered land this can usually be 5% of the purchase price.
If the land is registered and ready to settle within 6 weeks, you will need to pay the 10%. If this is not possible, please talk to us and we may be able to negotiate a payment of 5% deposit.
6. What if I don’t have a deposit?
If you don’t have a deposit you may be able to exchange using a deposit bond. Please contact us to discuss this further and we can provide you with providers we have previously worked with.
7. What is a sunset date?
Most land releases are sold on an unregistered basis. That means that the subdivision is not yet complete and the developer needs to register the various lots of land before they are ready to settle and transfer ownership to the purchasers.
In these circumstances the contracts will have a sunset date, which is a period of time that the developer allows themselves under the contract to complete the subdivision and register the land. This can be anything from a few months to a few years. It is important to get an idea from the sales offices for the developer or the agent about their expectation and timeline for registration. If registration is not completed by the sunset date you may elect to rescind the contract.
In some cases, a developer will need to extend their sunset date and this is usually done by consent and agreement with you as the purchaser.
8. Do I need unconditional loan approval before I exchange contracts?
No. Most banks will not provide you unconditional loan approval until the land has registered and they can access the block to do a valuation.
You should make some enquiries about your borrowing capacity prior to exchanging the contract so you can be confident that when the time comes to settle you will be able to secure funding.
9. When do I pay stamp duty on vacant land?
If your block of land is unregistered, you have until 3 months after the date of exchange of the contract to pay stamp duty. This means a possible large outlay of money before you have loan funds.
If your block of land is registered and your purchase is due to settle within 3 months of the date of exchange, stamp duty will be paid at the same time as settlement of the purchase.
10. I am a first homeowner, what grants or exemptions are available to me if I buy vacant land?
From 1 August 2021, the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme was reverted to the previous parameters.
If you are a first home buyer and entitled to claim a concessional rate or an exemption from paying transfer duty under the First Home Buyers Assistance scheme, as of 1 August 2021, the following thresholds will now apply:
For Vacant Land,
- Valued less than $350,000 will be able to claim the full transfer duty exemption. This means you do not need to pay stamp duty.
- Valued between $350,000-$450,000 will be able to claim a concessional rate of duty.