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How to control property development costs in a turbulent climate

How to control property development costs in a turbulent climate

Based on a recent survey carried out among property developers in the United Kingdom (UK), over 70% of developers say that the main challenge in 2023 is either land value being too high or the increase in building costs. 

Before we delve right into the title of this article, It is essential to understand that every property development project is unique. With that in mind, accurate budgeting and thorough strategic planning are necessary to avoid seeing projects fail before they have the chance to get off the ground. 

When you speak of property development, the truth is that the return on investment (ROI) is a highly sought-after objective. Property developers seek land or existing properties and invest in the site's redevelopment to make a profit. Often, profit margins on property development projects are slender; even the most experienced developers can experience unforeseen delays and other issues that might affect an upward trajectory of yield.


What is the answer?

Formulating a project budget is a necessary facet of the loan structure for the property development initiative. That being said, a budget can never be 100 percent accurate because it is initially based on prediction influences that lean more towards hope rather than expectation. However, market tool appraisals give a developer a more scientific evaluation of the cost implications, which provides a better realistic cost calculation. 

In the business of property development, variations are common denominators. Therefore, it can be justified perspectives on the project's overall challenge. After completing the project, the analyst's primary goal is to demonstrate that the budgeted costs were relatively close to or over budget.   

This is no mean feat, and several property development costs must be considered when budgeting development projects. The idea is to be divided into two categories: high and low prices; that way, you can see where your money is going. They are always employed to measure reasonableness and efficiency in development initiatives. Therefore, it is necessary to understand their distinctions. This is more than just critical advice for the project owner but also essential if you want to attract lenders and investors.


What do you need to take into account?

This goes without saying that any development project requires significant upfront investment from stakeholders and lending institutions if you are to get it off the ground. The valuation of the final project, known as the Gross Development Value (GDV), will often dictate the amount of finance the developer can lend and how much they invest themselves. 

Developers can avoid undervaluing the project with proper planning and a clear budget strategy. This could mean investing too much or needing more of their cash and securing an unsuitable amount and type of finance for the project. All of these factors will contribute to how profitable the project is, ultimately, and a poorly planned budget could even mean a loss for the developer and their investors.


How do you properly budget for a property development project? 

In simple terms, the contingency line is used to finance unplanned and unknown future expenses known as overruns in the construction business. So with that, we recommend our software, which covers contingencies. 

It is naive and pragmatic not to expect adjustments and overruns even on minor development projects. However, overruns can result from a variety of events and activities.