Dubai property: More people opting to buy plots to build homes

Experts say it gives them more freedom to pick out their own designs and materials

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File photo

Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Wed 29 Jun 2022, 7:36 PM

Last updated: Wed 29 Jun 2022, 10:59 PM

With property prices touching new highs, more people are opting to buy plots and build their own custom-made homes rather than buying readymade houses from developers.

“It is a very viable option for those who want to have their homes customized,” said Jeff Raju Kuruvilla, sales manager at Positive Properties.

“With the property market doing great business, the prices for plots have increased too but not at the same level as readymade houses. More people are opting to build their own home because it gives them so much more freedom to pick out their own designs and materials.”

Earlier today, The Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) announced the launch of its first-ever plot financing offering that will enable customers to purchase a piece of land as investment or to build a house.

CEO of property company Allsopp & Allsopp, Lewis Allsopp welcomed this move. “It is becoming more popular for residents in Dubai to put their own stamp on properties with renovations whether properties are old or new,” he said. “Having the ability to buy a plot of land using finance gives buyers the opportunity to build a home of their dreams from scratch.”

According to Jeff, the cost of building a house is comparatively cheaper than buying one. “A client of mine is currently building his own house of 10,000 sq. ft in Nad Al Sheba,” he said. “If he was going to buy the same property from a developer, it would have cost him almost double the amount he has spent now.”

Those who purchase land plots usually fall into three categories- investors who want to buy a piece of land and sell it when the price goes up; contractors who buy plots, build property on it and sell it, and end user who buys plots to build a house for themselves to live in.

Those who intend to buy land and build custom-made homes have to follow the guidelines by the developers they are buying from. They also have to get architectural designs and blueprints approved from the developer and land department before commencing with construction.

Property owner and contractor Mansoor Ali bought a plot in Al Furjan a few years ago. “The plan was to build a townhouse on it and sell it,” he said. “However, at the time the property market wasn’t doing particularly well so I decided to wait it out. Now, with the market doing well, I have resumed work on the project and I am hoping to make a profit out of it.”

According to Mansoor, there are several benefits of buying a plot and building a house rather than buying a readymade option. “The most obvious reason is that you get a home customized for your family and needs,” he said. “Also, I own a readymade property to which I have made some structural changes. To me, it is a much bigger hassle to get those changes done than to build a house from scratch. For every minute detail, you need to get permissions and so on. So if the buyer is someone who has a very specific idea of how he wants his home, then I would definitely recommend buying a plot.”

However, Mansoor warns prospective owners that building a house is a labor of love. “The buyer has to be ready to have multiple meetings with the consultants and contractors to get their home constructed the way they want,” he said. “It is a rewarding yet time-consuming process.”

Lewis Allsopp also had a word of caution for prospective plot buyers. “The finance will not cover the cost of the build which makes the concept very costly,” he said, “If the funds are available, this is a great option and will add diversity to the real estate market in Dubai.

Buying Plots

  • Plots available for resale are in: JVC, Al Furjan, Nad al sheba Gardens, Sobha Hartland, District 1, Jebel Ali Hills.
  • Approx. area of most popular plots: 5000-10,000 sq. ft.
  • Average cost of a plot: Dh1.5 million to Dh2.5 million (prices can increase for premium location)
  • Average cost of building a house: Dh350-450 per sq. ft.Approx cost of building a house of BUA of 3000 sq. ft.- Dh1.2 million


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