Home / News / India /  Housing demand structural in nature: HDFC’s Deepak Parekh

NEW DELHI : India is witnessing a structural shift in housing demand, and the clamour from first-time homebuyers and those planning to upgrade to a larger home is here to stay, Deepak Parekh, chairman of mortgage lender HDFC Ltd, said at the One World One Realty Digital Summit 2021 on Thursday.

It is not pent up demand which is driving sales, but a combination of first-time homebuyers, customers moving up the property ladder to shift to larger homes or acquiring a second home in another location, he added.

“With the work-from-home option, the proximity to one’s workplace is perhaps less compelling. So there are wider options in terms of locations when buying a home," he said.

Parekh added that due credit must also be given to the government for its focus on the ambitious housing programme, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, under which around 11.3 million homes have been sanctioned as on 31 March. “This has been a game changer for the housing sector as the ultimate objective is building a more inclusive and a property-owning democracy. One cannot talk about sustainability if the benefits accrue to a small privileged segment of society."

Parekh said that despite being associated with the housing sector for over four decades, the strong demand being witnessed now has certainly been surprising.

Technology has enabled developers to virtually showcase their property and home loan providers to leverage their digital platform to continue to serve new and existing customers, he said, adding that more than ever before, the role of technology and innovation has become extremely important.

“Today there is so much talk about fintech, healthtech, edtech, but property technology or proptech is still in its infancy. The construction industry is one of the least digitized sectors in the world," Parekh said. It is estimated that the real estate sector spends less than 1.5% of its revenues on technology, he added.

To my mind, capitalizing on technology for the real estate sector will improve governance, and progress of projects can be monitored through digital dashboards, with data driving key decisions, he added. “Funding for projects based on achieving construction milestones can be better monitored online. This will bring in the much-needed transparency and accountability and improve cost efficiencies also in this sector."

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