Indian realty to witness digital advancement in 2020: Hiranandani

New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) As the real estate sector reels through the coronavirus crisis with low demand and no site visits by prospective home buyers, Niranjan Hiranandani, National President of the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) feels that the sector players will turn to the digital and online space in 2020 to garner demand and arrange online viewing of property.

The realty sector veteran is of the view that although the sector was reviving from its lows, the global pandemic COVID-19 came in as a speed-breaker, he said.

“This has disrupted the business cycle in the real estate in the coming festive season which is considered to be auspicious for home buying. The economic lockdown situation gave rise to amplify the digital platform for communicating and logging sales through online channels, he said.

As real estate banks on site visit, the market is staring at delay in sales closures. Since the outbreak, a slowdown was visible in the sector and the site visits were marginally down delaying the entire decision-making process, he added.

“Home is considered as a basic need as well as an assured investment avenue which is likely to be less prone to the market’s volatility,” the NAREDCO President said.

He outlined the significance of NAREDCO’s recently launched e-commerce housing portal, ‘HousingForAll.Com’. The portal was launched in January.

“The positive progress that has happened on this front is that NAREDCO’s initiative is in construct to ease the home buying experience online, it will soon be the platform that will provide as much information as possible online. This will largely increase the percentage of decision-making,” he said.

The unexpected global pandemic resulted in the lockdown which has brought site visits to nearly grinding halt, due to which developers have become agile and swiftly move to digital platforms for continuation in business.

Real estate business has witnessed a paradigm shift with tech embedded online business modus operandi.

“Digital transaction platforms like ‘’ will garner a better transaction from the discerning home buyers. The platform offers arrays of inventory available with the pan-India developers, which shall help them fetch their choice of apartments which befits their requirement,” he said.

He also noted that construction in India has traditionally been manpower driven and are done manually. In the new millennium, as markets evolve and customer profile evolves, the construction sector had to keep pace with global best practices, Hiranandani said.

“From its ‘Brick and Mortar’ days, present-day, we see many evolutionary changes in construction technology: use of mechanization, automation and the internet of things (IOT) along with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are changing the paradigm.”

The scope of automation in India’s construction segment is quite broad, extending from initial planning stages all the way to operating and maintaining the final structure, he added.

He further noted that with severe erosion in the stock and bond market, investors may turn to real estate.

The volatility in the virtual asset markets has led to worst capital erosion in the paper or bond market, he said, adding that this has given investors an opportunity to consider real estate as a best alternative tangible asset which shall grant a better security on returns.