Real estate demand strong despite rising interest rates – REA India CEO

By Savio Shetty

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Demand in India’s rate-sensitive real estate sector is robust as pent-up demand after the pandemic and rising consumer confidence have helped home buyers shrug off concerns of rising interest rates, the head of India’s largest property technology company said on Wednesday.

The Reserve Bank of India has raised rates by 250 basis points since May 2022 in a bid to cool surging prices. It kept monetary policy unchanged on Oct. 6 for a fourth consecutive meeting and signaled interest rates would remain high until inflation was closer to 4%.

“We have witnessed quarter-on-quarter growth over the last several quarters despite rising rates,” said Dhruv Agarwala, CEO at REA India, part of the Australia-listed REA Group.

“Post Covid, people’s perception towards home ownership has changed,” Agarwala told the Reuters Trading India forum. “With hybrid work here to stay, people want larger homes.”

In 2020, Australia’s REA Group acquired a controlling stake in Elara Technologies, renaming it REA India. The company owns multiple online real estate marketplaces, including market leader and online real estate advisory services platform

Demand for property in larger towns and cities was robust, Agarwala said, adding that smaller cities were also showing “great promise” due to spillover effects of higher rents and sales values in big cities.

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(Reporting by Savio Shetty; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee)