Developable land

What is developable land?

A developable land refers to land that is suitable to be urbanized, that is, suitable to be conditioned and prepared for urban use through an urban transformation action.

Types of developable land

There are three types of developable land depending on their characteristics and municipal approach:

  • Developable land for development: it can be built on immediately.
  • Sectorized developable land: land suitable for absorbing the growth of the city.
  • Non-sectorized developable land: the rest of the developable land that does not fall into the two previous groups.

Other types of land:
urban land and undeveloped land

In addition to land for development, land is classified as urban land and land not for development. These classifications state what may or may not be done on a particular piece of land and what are the rights and duties of the owners over it. Urban land is land that is included in the urban planning of a given territory and is equipped with roads, streets, sewers, lighting, etc. Undeveloped land, on the other hand, is that which has some particular protection and is not suitable for present or future constructions.

Sale of land for Development

INVESASSET sells land for development. As its main objective is the final promotion, in the process of purchase of land for development, we focus on maintaining a portfolio of cheap land for development, which allows our customers to have an optimal impact on housing. It must be understood that a developable land is linked to its situation within the urban planning where it is located, and therefore for the purchase of a developable land it is necessary to carry out an urban due diligence that will determine the urban possibilities of the same. Once this due diligence is done, it will be necessary to study the surrounding market and the demand for housing in order to find the calculation of a possible project, always looking for the purchase of land for development as cheap and economical as possible.

Additionally, our company, advises on the sale of land for development, putting in value and looking for buyers for it

How to know if a land is developable?

At the moment that the decision to build on a specific plot of land is considered, the question arises as to whether that land has all the requirements to be able to build on it.

This is something that we must take into account before taking any step to build,  making sure that the land is buildable will avoid later problems.

Where to go
 if I want to build?

It will be, therefore, key to know both the registry situation of the land and its urbanistic reality. The registry information can be found in the corresponding Land Registry, where, in addition to knowing the ownership of the land, we will also know if it is free of encumbrances or if there is a lien or mortgage on it.

In turn, it is advisable to go to the department of Urbanism of the City council in which the plot is located. An operation which, the interested party will obtain information on the urban situation of the land and will make sure that the use and construction that it intends to do can be carried out. A step with which he will have all the required information about the situation of the land, from this information “he will know if the land on which it is located is developable or not, if the surface is buildable and how many heights he can develop on it”.

What is the difference between urban and developable land?

We often find that our clients are not clear about the type of land on which a plot of land they are interested in is located. For this reason we have decided to share this post to clarify some basic concepts about the difference between urban, developable and undevelopable land.

Before we begin, we would like to clarify the difference between land classification and land qualification, as it can lead to confusion if we are not familiar with urban planning terms.

Broadly speaking, we could say that land classification, as its name indicates, refers to the different classes or types of land. On the other hand, the qualification refers to the use and building possibilities of a piece of land.

Qualifications are specific characteristics of a piece of land in relation to its buildability coefficient and the specific rules that apply to it (permitted uses, alignments or maximum height, among others).


Urban land , the general planning of the municipality determines as such if it meets one of these three conditions:

Provision of basic services and endowments. The land must have road access, water supply and drainage network and electricity supply.

This is one of the first verifications that we will have to make before buying a land since a land that does not have road access or water or electricity supply will probably have future charges that the buyer will have to pay when the city council dedicates to urbanize the street.

Sometimes, we find very cheap land but whose access road is not urbanized, these lands normally have future debts with the city council that the owner will have to assume.

Building consolidation.

To fulfill this condition, it will be necessary that our land is included in an area consolidated by the building in at least two thirds of its buildable surface.

When we talk about building consolidation we mean that there is a solid urban fabric in most of the area in which our land is located, in order to guarantee that it is a firm and stable urban land.

That is to say, if our land is isolated, we will not have this building consolidation, but if it is contiguous to an urban grid, then it will be easier to comply with this condition.

Conformity with planning.

The land has been developed and urbanized following the specifications established in the planning

That is to say, to know if our land is urbanized following the determinations of the planning, we will have to verify that it does not present any irregularity and that it fulfills the town-planning regulation of the municipality in which we are.

If this is not the case, it may be necessary to carry out a Special Plan, an urban planning instrument that makes it possible to normalize the irregularities of a territorial area from a specific sector.

From this point on, we must be careful because not all urban land is the same. Within urban land, we must distinguish between consolidated urban land and unconsolidated urban land.

Urban land

This subcategory of land classification includes all land considered to be a plot of land or a plot of land with accessory works.

And what does the concept
of plot of land refer to?

We can define a plot as a land suitable for building and urbanized in accordance with urban planning, i.e., bordering a paved and illuminated road, with the alignments and gradients indicated, which allows the granting of an immediate license and the building of which does not involve the transfer of land.

When we speak of cession of land we refer to areas that belong to the public administration and that this one gives us as a loan for a time for its use, having to give them back in the future.

In the case of a plot of land by means of accessory works, it means that our land will have to point out the alignments and gradients, although we can also consider it a consolidated urban land.

In the case of a plot of land by means of accessory works, it means that our land will have to point out the alignments and gradients, although we can also consider it a consolidated urban land.

Therefore, we recommend that you are always well informed of the affectations of your plot.

For this, the most advisable thing is to contact the architect before buying the plot, in Slow Home, in fact, we always carry out the necessary urbanistic and legal verifications and we accompany you to see the plot before you start the conversations for the purchase.

It is very important that you are well advised before buying because we can find regulations that limit the possibilities of construction or land with outstanding debts that must be considered in the purchase price.

Urban land

In this case it is a land not consolidated by urbanization, often also called rural core. This type of land requires urbanization works in order to acquire the status of land.

These urbanization works may include the interior reform of the land, its urban renovation and improvement, the provision of public facilities or its redevelopment. All these actions will be defined by a development figure, such as a Special Plan or a Detailed Study.

So, is it a good option to buy unconsolidated urban land?

Be careful! Unconsolidated urban land will depend on the approval of a Plan or Study in order to be considered as suitable for construction and to obtain a building permit.

This may sometimes require several owners to agree or the approval of a certain plan by the city council.

It is necessary to be careful with land located in areas classified as unconsolidated urban land because we can find that our project is at a standstill for several years waiting for the positive urban resolution.

So much for urban land, now let’s look at undeveloped land to understand the difference between urban, developable and undevelopable land!


Let’s start with undeveloped land, since it has more specific conditions and is easier to differentiate.

Undeveloped land is a type of land that has some type of specific protection, because of its landscape, historical, archaeological, agricultural, agricultural, forestry, livestock, forestry, mining or cultural value.

It may also be land that is reserved for the development of infrastructure or public services.

In any case, it is necessary to clarify that in some classes of undeveloped land it is possible to build legally. Normally these are single-family dwellings linked to agricultural or livestock farming, on large plots of land to avoid excessive building density, or buildings of public utility or social interest.

In this sense it will be necessary to review each case in detail and again, contact an architect before starting with the purchase procedures.


By exclusion, we could say that a land will be developable if it does not present the characteristics neither of urban nor of not developable.

There are different types of land for development, such as those in which its immediate transformation is foreseen, those that are not sectorized and special developable land, which have existing settlements or peculiar environmental characteristics.

Generally, in order to build on land for development it will be necessary to previously develop a Partial Plan or Reparcelling Project, especially on special land for development.

We can also check the information of a plot of land through the Spanish web site of the catastro.

How much does it cost to develop a plot?

The costs of urbanization vary depending on the areas, orography and other parameters to take into account but if we have to give a reference we can speak of between 55-70 euros m2