A major Abu Dhabi property developer called the off-plan sales model 'defunct' yesterday, indicating that companies would have to put more money into early stages of projects to convince buyers to invest.

The off-plan model has fuelled a construction and property price boom in the Emirates since Dubai first began selling unstarted homes at the beginning of the decade, but buying interest has dried up as credit has become scarce, confidence has dropped and many projects have suffered delays.

Capitala, which is developing a 147-hectare site on Abu Dhabi island, is considering a plan to make most of its buyers’ payments due after the completion date.

The National