Development Calculator

Our development calculator combines construction cost data with real-time market data on values per square foot to help you estimate how much profit a development will make.

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Our property development calculator is an invaluable tool for property developers looking to understand the profitability of potential property developments. We’ve brought together a comprehensive set of metrics from property markets to create a calculator that offers accurate representations of property development profit levels.

Read on to learn more about our property development calculator, how to calculate property development costs and more.

How is property development profit calculated?

The property development calculator brings together multiple metrics that draw data from real-time market analysis alongside construction costs to provide you with a useful estimate of property development profits.

To get the most accurate calculations possible, you’ll need to include a few key details about the proposed development. This includes things like the full UK postcode of where the property is located, the square footage pre-development and post-development, the type of project and the type of property. It’s worth noting that if the project is going to be a green field development, then pre-development square footage should be set to zero.

You can refine your development cost calculator results even further by incorporating details that impact stamp duty, professional fees, contingency or finance cost calculations. Once you’ve input all of your details, you’ll be able to browse through the following information:


How much deposit do you need for property development?

If you’re looking into property development, it’s important to know how much money you’ll need to set aside to cover the deposit. There are a few different approaches to securing funds for property development, so before determining how much you’ll need first look at your finance options. For example, if you’re looking to buy a property but have yet to sell your current property, then a bridging loan is ideal for your situation.

If you’re thinking about a larger project where you’ll be developing your own property, then ground-up property development finance is a more viable option. It covers around 70 to 80 % of the total build cost, which means you’ll need to save around 20 to 30 % to cover the rest.

There are other options if you’re unable to secure enough money for the deposit that you might want to consider. For example, you could offer additional security to the lender in the form of your existing property or other assets. Or, you could look into securing a joint venture with another partner to help cover the costs.

How do you finance a development property?

Financing property developments is a costly endeavour that requires significant financial investment. There are a few different ways to finance property developments but they aren’t all viable options for everyone. Some of the different ways to finance these developments include:

Cash

Using your own money to cover the property development costs is the most straightforward approach, but unless you have a significant amount of money saved then it’s going to be difficult to acquire the amount of money necessary for property development. If you do have the money available though, you can continue the project without having to apply for loans or worry about interest rates.

Buy-to-let mortgages

Buy-to-let mortgages are specialised loans used to purchase property with the intention of creating income through renting it out. Standard mortgages tend to include restrictions around subletting or letting out the property, but with a buy-to-let mortgage, you’re able to rent out rooms or the whole property to gain income. It’s worth noting that lenders typically ask for 25 to 40% of the deposit for this type of mortgage, as well as higher fees.

Buy-to-sell mortgages

Most standard mortgages will include caveats that lock you into the mortgage for at least two years before you can sell the property, which isn’t helpful if you’re looking for a quick return on investment. Instead, you can opt for a buy-to-sell mortgage that removes this caveat and gives you the ability to sell much faster. The downside to this arrangement is that it typically incorporates higher fees and a larger deposit may be required.

Bridging loan

Bridging loans are an alternative form of financing that’s ideal if you’re only looking to borrow for a brief period of time, such as prior to selling the property. The biggest difference with a bridging loan compared to other forms of financing is that instead of annual interest rates they incorporate a monthly price. They’re most commonly used when you haven’t yet sold your existing property but intend to.

Specialised property loan

In some cases, you might be able to secure a specialised property loan from a private lender. Instead of going through a high street lender, you can opt for a private company that focuses on financing property development. There are a few things to consider though, such as the extra flexibility in interest rates found in these types of loans.

Personal loans

A personal loan, also known as an unsecured loan, doesn’t tie up any other assets into the financing agreement. They’re a useful alternative if you’re looking to buy a property but it locks you into a fixed rate instead of a flexible one. You can also pay back the loan in full before the full term of the loan runs its course.

What does GDV mean in property?

Gross development value, also known as GDV, is a way to estimate the total value of a property or new development if it were placed on the open market for sale. It looks at the current economic condition of the property market and a few other factors to create a GDV calculator and provide an accurate estimate of the value of a property or development.

Is GDV the same as market value?

Market value, also known as open market valuation, is the price that an asset sells for in an open marketplace. It’s calculated by multiplying the total number of shares by the current share price. This makes it a great tool for calculating the value of exchange-traded securities like stocks, but it’s less useful for real estate which requires additional metrics and assessments from real estate experts.

The GDV acts as an estimate of the market value (or rental value) for a property or development. So although the market value and GDV are similar, they’re not the same thing.


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Transparent data promise

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

Averages shown are the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How do you know the square footage of properties?

We use proprietary technology to read the square footage of properties from agent floorplans. Although we cannot determine the square footage for all properties, we can usually get sufficient coverage. Agents are sometimes known to inflate square footage, and this should be borne in mind as a weakness of this data.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property "price paid" data provided by the Land Registry.

How often is the data updated?

Once per month when released by the Land Registry, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

You can customise the time period using the filter at the top of the view. The default time period is up to 9 months back from today's date. The latest data covers the period up to 2024-04-30, although some sales that took place before this date may still be added in the coming months.

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

What are the statistics used?

Averages shown are the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property "price paid" data provided by the Land Registry, and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data provided by Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities.

How do you know the square footage of properties?

We match the Land Registry data to EPC data provided by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. Due to the fact that not all properties sold have had an EPC and vagaries of addressing in the UK, we are not able to determine the square footage of all properties, but we can usually get sufficient coverage.

How often is the data updated?

The private paid data is updated once per month when released by the Land Registry, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month. The energy performance certificate database is updated monthly.

What time period does the data cover?

You can customise the time period using the filter at the top of the view. The default time period is up to 9 months back from today's date. The latest data covers the period up to 2024-04-30, although some sales that took place before this date may still be added in the coming months.

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Room let listings on SpareRoom, the UK's biggest room letting website.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from SpareRoom, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded. Yields are calculated by comparing only properties with the same number of bedrooms, e.g. 3-bedroom properties for rent with 3-bedroom properties for sale.

What is the yield calculation used?

The calculation used is (average_weekly_asking_rent * 52 / average_asking_price), expressed as a percentage. It is a top-line gross yield, meaning no expenses are considered.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from Zoopla, Rightmove or Spareroom, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Yields are calculated by comparing only properties with the same number of bedrooms, e.g. 3-bedroom properties for rent with 3-bedroom properties for sale. For the SpareRoom data, hypothetical properties consisting of two to six average double rooms with shared bathrooms are used to derived average rent. For all sources, listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What is the yield calculation used?

The calculation used is (average_weekly_asking_rent * 52 / average_asking_price), expressed as a percentage. It is a top-line gross yield, meaning no expenses are considered.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property "price paid" data provided by the Land Registry.

How often is the data updated?

Once per month when released by the Land Registry, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

Zoopla Zed-index

What time period does the data cover?

The data covers transactions in the last six years

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The listings data is updated in near real-time. The Land Registry data is updated once per month when released, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

The price paid data shown goes back to January 2015. The listings data is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the calculations used?

Average sales per month are for the last 3 finalised months. Turnover is average sales per month divided by total for sale. Inventory is 100 divided by turnover.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The listings data is updated in near real-time. The Land Registry data is updated once per month when released, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

Where does the raw data come from?

We receive data on the extent and corporate ownership of all land titles in England & Wales from the Land Registry.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated once per month when released, typically in the first few days of each calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

This is an ownership snapshot - the data represents ownership as recorded by the Land Registry at the last monthly export.

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

Where does the raw data come from?

We source different expert forecasts Savills, Knight Frank, OBR

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated annually when new forecasts are released, typically towards the beginning of the year.

How is the raw data processed?

We calculate a consensus forecast using a simple mean average.

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