Higher tech investment in realty will lead to better governance: Parekh

HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh on Thursday pointed to the meagre amount spent on technology in real estate, saying more investment in technology would improve governance and enhance accountability in the sector.


According to him, investment in property technology (proptech), including digital backbone, will increase efficiency through real-time monitoring of real estate projects.


The current uptick in the demand for housing is structural in nature and here to stay, Parekh said at a virtual proptech summit.


The lower interest rates, stable property prices and continued fiscal benefits on housing loans have aided the growth in home loans over the past few months, he felt.


The pick-up in demand is a combination of first-time homebuyers and customers moving up the property ladder by shifting to larger homes or acquiring a second home in another location.


With the work from home (WFH) option, the proximity to one's work place is less compelling and homebuyers have wider options in terms of locations while buying property, he said.


Parekh also said the construction industry is one of the least digitised sectors in the world. It is estimated that the real estate sector spends less than 1.5 per cent of its revenue on technology.


Real-time data on real estate is hardly available, he added. He was of the opinion that the progress of projects can be monitored through digital dashboards, with data driving key decisions.


According to him, while fintech, healthtech and edutech have seen more activity, proptech is still in its infancy.


Proptech firms can play a big role in accelerating the government's smart city mission in terms of facilitating online approvals of building projects, said Parekh.

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