Property development encompasses activities that range from the renovation and re-lease or re-sale of existing buildings, to the purchase of raw land and the sale of developed land or parcels of land.
Property developers are the people and companies who coordinate all of these activities, converting ideas from paper to real property. Property development is different from construction, although many developers also manage the construction process.
Developers buy land, finance property deals, build or have builders build projects, create, imagine, control, and orchestrate the process of development from the beginning to end. Developers usually take on the largest risk in the creation or renovation of property—and therefore often receive the greatest rewards.
Typically, developers purchase a tract of land, determine the marketing of the property, develop the building programme and design, obtain all the necessary public approvals and financing, build the structures, and rent out, manage, and ultimately sell it.
Sometimes property developers will only undertake part of the process. For example, some developers source a property and get the plans and permits approved before selling the property with the plans and permits to a builder at a premium price. Alternatively, a developer that is also a builder may purchase a property with the plans and permits in place so that they do not have the risk of failing to obtain planning approval and can start construction on the development immediately.
Developers work with many different counterparts along each step of this process, including architects, city planners, engineers, surveyors, inspectors, contractors, solicitors, leasing agents, etc.
In the United Kingdom, 'development' is defined in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 section 55, and any developments undertaken in the UK must comply with the regulations set-out in this document.
Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to discuss a particular property development project.