Internet influences over 50 pct real estate buying decisions: Google study

Jun 18 2014, 20:44 IST
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Beirut apartments more than tripled in value since 2006 as Lebanese expatriates spooked by the global financial crisis threw their money into real estate at home. (Photo: AP) Beirut apartments more than tripled in value since 2006 as Lebanese expatriates spooked by the global financial crisis threw their money into real estate at home. (Photo: AP)
SummaryInternet influenced around $43 billion of real estate transactions, shows study.

That Internet has quickly grabbed a huge amount of business space online has been quite clear for long and a Google India study shows how strong Net's presence has grown in the real estate sector.

The Google India study, conducted on basis of a pan India offline research conducted by Zinnov and real estate related search query trends on Google, seeks to shed light on the influence of Internet on real estate purchase decisions in India.

The study revealed that over fifty percent of real estate buyers' decisions are influenced by Internet research. Not just that, the phenomenon of researching online for real estate information was not limited to metros but also extended to buyers in tier two cities.

The study revealed, that the overall influence of Internet today on real estate transaction value of both residential and commercial property including rentals amounted to $43 billion, with $31 billion for residential and $12 billion for commercial properties.

The offline survey conducted across 15 cities in India with over 6,000 respondents revealed that 74% of real estate research online was focused on residential buying and 26% focused on residential renting. Among these, almost half the respondents were indifferent to new or resale property (47%) as the criteria for research focused more on their space requirement, budget and location. 23% respondents were in the market for resale property only, and 30% were looking for new property under construction.

In the survey, respondents rated Internet in the top three mediums for information for real estate research, with 24 percent respondents rating Internet as the top destination for information. Print media and sales-broker offices were the rated as the other top two information sources for property information.

Nitin Bawankule, Industry Director, Google India, said ďReal estate queries on Google search have been growing consistently, registering over 3x growth in the last three years, the rate of query growth is even higher for tier 2 cities and growing at over 350%. Our search query data shows that over 53% search queries are done with clear purchase intent.Ē

Amongst the top destinations on the Internet for real estate information, aggregator sites (62%) were rated as the top source for information, followed by builder and developers sites (52%). Online broker sites and real estate blogs and forums (~45%) were also rated as popularly used destinations for information.

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