Area-selective atomic layer deposition is being considered as the next paradigm shift in device fabrication. Besides semiconductor manufacturing, area-selective ALD presents unique opportunities in catalysis and large-area electronics applications. In this contribution, the results of recently developed area-selective ALD processes for In2O3 and ZnO are revisited. These approaches rely on substratedependent nucleation that originates from chemoselective precursor adsorption. Here, we focus on the role of thermodynamics and kinetics of the surface reactions in enabling area-selective deposition. Thermodynamics and kinetics of reactions were calculated by density functional theory (DFT) methods. We believe that our findings can be valuable in understanding area-selective ALD processes at a molecular level, the mechanisms underpinning the chemoselective adsorption and thus in advancing the field.