Where is India buying its property?


India’s overall property market continues to be depressed with builders sitting on piles of losses and buyers waiting in the hope that home loan rates would drop. There are a handful of green patches in the sea of red. Hyderabad is among the emerging markets, thanks to the investments it has been promised, followed by Chennai, Bangalore and the perpetual rush in Mumbai.

However, that hasn’t stunted the rapid growth of online property services. More than the numbers, it’s the optimism about changing consumer trends that’s fuelling dreams for these sites.

“Online is currently a small component of the real estate business. We have a long way to go in understanding consumer needs, building confidence and engaging with a larger mass of builders to provide users greater choice, convenience and transparency”, Muralikrishnan B, COO, IndiaProperty.com agrees.

India’s online property market however has boomed with several players like Magicbricks, 99acres, Housing and so on. While investors and entrepreneurs are expecting big returns, won’t the Indian buyer rather play it safe than buy property worth lakhs online, considering that may serve as serious investment or his home? The risk factor is obviously bigger than a smartphone or laptop.

“Property buying has evolved into a hybrid online-offline process. It’s incorrect to assume consumer behaviors would change overnight. However, there would always be room for advisory services that would liberate the power of the internet and mobile to act as valuable research tools and would be free from potential vested interests of brokers”, Muralikrishnan observes.

In its latest report ‘India goes Mobile’, India property claims it saw a 10-40% increase in mobile users searching for property between January 2014 and May this year with a hefty 69% of mobile users and 61% of desktop users between 18-34 of age.

“A majority of these people belong to the upwardly mobile urban professionals who are in their first/second jobs. They have good disposable income and understand the importance of investment and tax saving. While every segment is under-tapped and has a long way to go towards maturity, the bulk still lies in affordable housing”, Muralikrishnan agreees.
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