Public to have their say about buying off-the-plan properties

Public feedback is being sought on a raft of proposals aimed at bolstering protections for home buyers purchasing a property off-the-plan, with the NSW Government releasing a Discussion Paper for comment. 

Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell said the review will examine the modern application of the Conveyancing Act and tackle a number of issues around off-the-plan contracts.

This includes information developers must disclose to buyers, cooling off periods, holding of deposits and sunset clauses.

“For many, purchasing a property is one of the most significant financial decisions they will make in their lifetime. It shouldn’t be a feeding frenzy for developers trying to shaft locals taking their first few steps into the market,” Mr Rowell said.

“More than ever it is vital that home buyers have all the relevant information they need to make an informed decision, NSW is booming and buying off-the-plan is becoming increasingly popular.

“The proposals put forward by the State Government are absolutely trying to deliver stronger protections for home buyers, but it doesn’t stop there.”

In November 2015 the Government introduced laws to stop the misuse of sunset clauses in off-the-plan contracts. Under these laws, a developer requires either the permission of the purchaser or court approval before the sunset clause can be triggered to terminate a contract.

There has been a stark increase in the number of off-the-plan contracts over recent years. In 2006/07 there were 2,148 off-the-plan contracts, contributing to 1.25 per cent of all residential property sales. Last financial year there were 29,022 off-the-plan sales, accounting for about 11.5 per cent of all residential property sales.  

A Discussion Paper is available for comment at Submissions close 30 January 2018.