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IIM-B’s realty portal aims to promote transparency

Thehindu.com - 17 September, 2014

IIM-B’s realty portal aims to promote transparency

LAIQH A. KHAN

In the aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis in the U.S, there is need for research to identify potential fault lines in the housing market

In an effort to usher in transparency in the real estate market, the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, will launch a crowdsourcing portal, www.iboughtproperty.com, on Wednesday to create benchmarks for property values by collecting data directly from buyers and validating the information using standard scientific practices.

“We have created a website where people who have bought or sold properties [land, apartments, villas and so on] in recent years can enter what they paid or received after providing some basic details about the property. No personal information will be collected and the users will remain totally anonymous. The whole process should take not more than two minutes,” Venkatesh Panchapagesan, Associate Professor, Finance and Control Area, IIM-B, said.

A market value report summarising information across all respondents that will be shared with the public seeks to alleviate a key source of consumer anxiety. Though the portal seeks to cover the entire country in due course, the pilot will focus on improving property price transparency in Bangalore.

As much of the information made available to buyers comes from either builders or middlemen with vested interests, the IIM-B initiative will help make an objective assessment of property values.

The institute expects several uses for this data in the public policy domain. “Several governmental and private entities like property valuation cells and bank loan processing departments require market value information. Policymakers can utilise this data to study the effects of registration charges and stamp duty rates on disclosed property prices and the impact of the parallel economy in this sector.

The IIM-B has tied up with Century Real Estate Research Initiative to develop scientific research and data on the Indian real estate sector. Dr. Panchapagesan said the recent global financial crisis, which had its origins in subprime mortgages in the U.S. housing sector, underscores the critical need for good timely research to identify potential fault lines and evaluate possible solutions to ensure that similar events do not recur.

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