As more Indians log online to seek information before entering into property deals, Internet today is estimated to be influencing decisions worth about $43 billion, search engine giant Google said.
According to a study commissioned by the US-based firm, over 50 percent of real estate buyers' decisions are influenced by Internet research.
"This phenomenon of researching online for real estate information before making a decision is not limited to metros but also extended to buyers in tier II cities," Google India Industry Director Nitin Bawankule told reporters in New Delhi.
The overall influence of Internet on real estate transaction value of both residential and commercial property including rentals amounts to $43 billion ($31 billion for residential, and $12 billion for commercial), he added.
The primary reasons for researching online were easy access to in-depth property information and market trends (60 percent), large comparison options (52 percent), easy access to contact details of owners and developers (49 percent) and financing and document processing information (43 percent).
The survey, conducted by consultancy firm Zinnov across 15 cities in India included the metros, Pune, Lucknow and Ahmedabad, with 6,196 respondents.
Talking about search trends on Google, Bawankule said the number had seen a 3x growth in the last three years.
"There is tremendous opportunity for both online real estate aggregators, brokers and developers to engage the buyers online by providing rich, meaningful and immersive experience to buyers on the Internet," he added.
According to the study, 62 percent respondents said aggregator sites (like makaan.com and magicbricks.com) were top sources of information for them on the Internet, followed by websites of real estate companies (52 percent).
About 45 percent said they visited broker sites, blogs and forums to find information before making a decision. An increasing number of people are also using their mobile devices to search for properties online.
"Mobile queries (those originating from mobile phones) are doubling every year and about 40 percent of total searches came through mobile phones," Bawankule said.
Also, the study found 73 percent respondents saying they prefer using their mobile apps for researching for property. However, a major concern for people researching online was the lack of accurate and updated information.
Respondents said websites of developers and aggregators often lacked availability of in-depth information about property and features like easy price comparison.