Deposits and Payment Structures in Off-the-Plan Contracts

off the plan vs house and land | CJC Law

When considering the purchase of property, the decision between buying off-the-plan or opting for a house and land package often arises. Both options come with their own sets of advantages and unique financial structures, making it crucial to understand the deposits and payment structures involved in off-the-plan contracts.

Deposits in Off-the-Plan Contracts

Initial Deposit

One of the primary steps in purchasing an off-the-plan property is an initial deposit payment. This deposit is typically around 10% of the purchase price and is paid when the contract is signed. The funds are usually held in a trust account until the completion of the property, providing some level of security for both the buyer and the developer.

Staged Payments

Unlike house and land packages, off-the-plan contracts might involve staged payments, particularly in larger developments. These payments are made at various milestones during construction, such as when the foundation is laid, the structure is completed, and the finishing touches are added. Staged payments can help manage buyers’ cash flow and ensure that the developer receives funds progressively to support the construction.

Also read: Buying Apartments Off The Plan: 5 Key Points You Should Know

Payment Structures in Off-the-Plan Contracts

Balance on Completion

The most common payment structure in off-the-plan contracts involves paying the balance of the purchase price upon completion of the property. After the initial deposit, no further payments are typically required until the property is finished and ready for occupancy. This structure can be advantageous for buyers who need time to arrange financing or save additional funds.

Progressive Payment Plans

In some cases, developers might offer progressive payment plans, where payments are made at specific stages of the construction process. These plans can vary widely, with some requiring smaller, more frequent payments, while others might have larger payments at key milestones. Understanding the details of these plans is essential to ensure they align with your financial situation and capabilities.

Off-the-Plan vs. House and Land

When comparing off-the-plan purchases to house and land packages, several factors come into play. House and land packages generally involve buying the land first and then constructing the house, often with a single builder. This can provide more immediate access to the property and potentially lower initial costs, as the land purchase might not require as high a deposit as an off-the-plan property.

Flexibility and Customisation

House and land packages often offer greater flexibility in terms of design and customisation. Buyers can work closely with the builder to tailor the home to their preferences. In contrast, off-the-plan purchases might have more limited customisation options, as the designs are usually pre-set by the developer.

Also read: Understanding the Sunset Clause QLD: Essential Information for Property Buyers

Market Considerations

Both options are influenced by market conditions. Off-the-plan purchases can benefit from locking in a price in a rising market, potentially providing immediate equity gains upon completion. However, they also carry the risk of market downturns affecting the property value before completion. House and land packages might offer more immediate market insight, as the land purchase and construction are typically closer to the current market conditions.

Off-the-Plan vs. House and Land

Recent developments in Queensland have highlighted the government’s efforts to make off-the-plan purchases more attractive. The state has introduced incentives, such as stamp duty concessions for off-the-plan buyers, aimed at boosting the housing market and supporting construction. These incentives can significantly reduce buyers’ upfront costs and make off-the-plan properties a more viable option compared to house and land packages.


Understanding off-the-plan contracts’ deposits and payment structures is essential for making an informed property purchase decision. With initial deposits, staged payments, and various payment plans, off-the-plan contracts offer unique financial arrangements that differ from house and land packages. Staying informed about market conditions and new developments, such as the incentives in Queensland, can help you choose the best option for your needs.

By thoroughly assessing your financial situation and the specific terms of each purchase method, you can make a well-rounded decision that aligns with your property goals.

Make the Right Move with CJC Law

Considering a property investment but can’t decide between an off-the-plan purchase or a house and land package? Let CJC Law help you weigh the pros and cons tailored to your financial landscape. Book a complimentary strategy session today and start your journey with expert guidance at your side. Make informed decisions with confidence—explore your options with CJC Law. Your investment future starts here. Secure your spot now!

Need a Lawyer?

Related Articles

Scroll to Top

Get A Free Quote

Enter Your Details Below and We’ll Calculate Your Conveyancing fees in 30 seconds.

What is the property type?
Is the property in QLD?
Price of property

Your details

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.