The difference between registered and unregistered land

If you’re looking into buying a block of land in a new estate, it’s important to know what registered and unregistered land means for you and your build.

Whether you’re planning on buying a house and land package or choosing your own builder, understanding the differences between registered and unregistered land, will help you decide on the right type of land for your home or investment.

In this article, we will break down what registered and unregistered land is and will explore some key benefits as well as things to consider when buying or investing in registered and unregistered land.

What are the two land types?

Developers can sell land in two ways: as registered land or unregistered land.

Registered land, also known as titled land, has been registered with the relevant council and authorities while unregistered land has not.

What is the difference between registered and unregistered land?

The key difference between the two land types is that registered land is ready to be built upon, but unregistered blocks aren’t.

While unregistered land may not have services connected, and subdivision infrastructure completed like registered land, it can offer other advantages to buyers.

What is registered land?

These blocks are officially registered and have a land title that allows you to own and build on the land.

Land registration is the confirmation that the land has been registered, and a land title is an official record of ownership over the land.

This land type will have completed estate infrastructure and services connected to the block.

So, once you have the relevant council approvals and permits, you can start construction.

Buying registered land

Before your bank loan can get be considered for unconditional approval, the land needs to be valued by the lender. Valuation of the land can only happen once the block is registered.

The purchase process and construction timelines are generally quicker compared to unregistered land because the land has already gone through the registration process and is ready to be valued.

Benefits of buying registered land:

  • Having your block valued by your lender can help get unconditional approval on your loan
  • You can immediately begin the building approval process
  • Once the title has cleared, your builders can begin work on-site straight away
  • Quicker process timeline, suited for those with shorter start-to-finish build timelines

Things to consider when buying registered land:

  • There are fewer registered blocks on the market, so buyer competition is higher
  • You may face some restrictions around your building and renovation plans due to council specifications already in place
  • You might not be able to benefit from land value increases in the same way as unregistered blocks

What is unregistered land?

Unregistered land doesn’t have a land title issued yet and is not registered with the local council and official authorities.

Construction on these blocks is unable to start until the land is registered and you’ve received any other building approvals you need.

Most subdivisions offer individual lots of unregistered land that developers can take deposits on, even though they haven’t been registered yet.

Buying unregistered land

For developers to develop and register the land for you, they’ll take a deposit.

Generally, the deposit amount is between 5% – 10%. But with Oxmar Properties the full deposit is only $1,000 and 100 days to settle, giving you more time to plan your finances and keep valuable cash flow.

You’ll also need to sign a contract of sale. This contract outlines the agreed price and an expected timeframe for the developer to deliver you a developed block of land.

Before putting a deposit down on an unregistered lot, you may choose to get financial pre-approval.

A pre-approval is not a guarantee of final approval but an indication of how much a lender may be willing to lend. Pre-approvals are subject to specific conditions including the lender’s valuation of the land.

Lender pre-approvals are generally valid for up to three months but settlement on unregistered land can take longer than this. It’s recommended to speak with a lending specialist who can guide you based on your individual circumstances.

How long does land registration take?

Land registration generally takes anywhere between three – 18 months. Registration timeframes can vary across locations.

This option gives you more time to plan and organise your finances as well as your build plans.

Benefits of buying unregistered land:

  • Land value could increase significantly from further suburban developments and area expansions
  • Unregistered land is more readily available, meaning less buyer competition
  • Once you’ve put down your deposit on a block, the rest of the purchase amount isn’t due until the completion of the land

Things to consider when buying unregistered land:

  • Expected land registration date and timeframes could impact your build schedule
  • Council zoning restrictions may limit certain construction works
  • Council and other relevant authorities may delay or not approve the developer’s subdivision plans


Registered and unregistered land offers first-home buyers and others an entryway to owning their own home or investment property.

While unregistered land offers you more flexibility with time and money, registered land suits those wanting to move in sooner rather than later. 

If you’re looking to buy in a community of like-minded neighbours, Oxmar Properties guarantee over 95% of sales in our estates are to Owner-Occupiers. That means you’re surrounded by neighbours who take pride in their homes, just like you.

Speak with us today and together, we’ll find you the perfect block to call home.


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