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Stick or twist?

Falls in the value of development land have created challenges for solicitors advising landowners. Alison Bailey advises on the best strategy to play

16 June 2009

In the current climate of falling house and commercial property prices it can seem that little development is taking place. Landowning clients are increasingly anxious about the price they might receive for their development land, whether they will receive this and the solvency of their chosen developer.

Many landowners have land presently under contract or option; the terms of which were agreed when the market was buoyant, guaranteed minimum prices per net developable acre were high and developers were keen to acquire land. Should such landowners simply sit back and wait for the market to improve or are there things they can and should be doing?

Land that is under contract or option to a developer who appears to be doing very little with it is not an appreciating asset; development is usually only realised after a considerable amount of effort and expense on the part of a landowner or a developer. If land is not being promoted either because there is no demand or no ...

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