If you buy a house, apartment, unit or vacant block of land off a Plan of Subdivision that has not been registered, then you are buying a lot “off the plan”.
A Certificate of Title for your lot will not be issued until the Plan of Subdivision has been registered by Land Use Victoria, sometimes described as “titling”, and settlement of your purchase cannot take place until this has occurred. Typically, settlements of off the plan contracts are held 14 days after Plan registration.
In the Vendor Statement attached to an off the plan contract, the proposed Plan of Subdivision will be shown, together with the Certificate of Title for the parent land (the land that is to be subdivided by the Plan).
A Plan of Subdivision cannot be lodged for registration by the vendor’s conveyancer until the local Council both certifies the Plan and issues it with its Statement of Compliance. This means that off the plan purchasers have to wait patiently for these milestones to be achieved, often much longer than the vendor has predicted. If the delay to registration passes the contracted sunset date, then purchasers can end the contract without penalty and receive their deposit back (usually with interest earned).
However, there are stamp duty benefits available if you buy a property off a plan that is being built and the property will be your principal place of residence, in that the cost of construction that occurs after the Day of Sale is not dutiable. For high rise apartments, this can mean that 75% or more of the price is exempted from stamp duty.