Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC (File image)
The strong demand that has been witnessed in housing in the recent times has been surprising, feels HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh. However, Parekh notes that the demand is not pent-up but structural in nature and will continue to stay.
"The strong demand that one has seen for housing in the recent period has certainly surprised on the upside. I firmly believe that this demand is not pent-up. It is structural and it is here to stay," Parekh said.
He was speaking at the One World, One Realty, a virtual Global PropTech Summit, aimed at defining a sustainability road map for the real estate and construction industry, presented by Brigade Reap and HDFC Capital. The summit was inaugurated by housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Puri.
The two-day virtual summit which was inaugurated on International Earth Day will deliberate on a series of topics on innovation and technology to create a more efficient and sustainable world. It will address the issue of global warming, environmental concerns and emission impacts and how the real estate and construction sector can come together, globally as one to use technology and innovation for a better world.
He said 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 the property, he said.
Noting that the construction industry is one of the least digitised sectors in the world, Parekh said that “it is estimated that the real estate sector spends less than 1.5 percent of its revenue on technology. One would tend to agree that real-time data on real estate is hardly ever available," he said.
Technology can help bring about the much-needed transparency and accountability in the real estate sector, and also improve cost efficiencies, Parekh added.
"Proptech companies can play a big role in accelerating the government's Smart City Mission as well as help local-level bodies and municipalities in terms of facilitating online approvals of building projects," he said.
Speaking at the inauguration, the housing minister Puri said the theme of Sustainable Development for the Global Summit One World One Realty is most appropriate and timely.
“The global housing technology challenge launched by the PM in January 2021 is an example of our commitment to sustainable development. This is a program harnessing global expertise on the use of new construction techniques, and green technologies in constructing houses in lesser time frames than those with other conventional technologies. These light house projects, as they are called, will come up in six geo climatic zones in the country and will pave the way to ultimately mainstream their use. I urge all participants in this summit to play an active role in propagating the use of new technologies,” he said.
The need of the hour is to re-engineer and reimagine the business to ensure that design, planning, construction and operations in the industry gets more efficient. We need to optimise the use of natural resources and build more responsibly”, said Nirupa Shankar, executive director, Brigade Enterprises Ltd.