BANGALORE: The Indian Institute of Management has launched a crowdsourced portal to equip property buyers in Bangalore with critical pricing information.
The public service initiative hopes to help ensure approvals, timely delivery and fair pricing, and improve property price transparency.
I Bought Property (www.iboughtproperty.com) provides a forum for buyers of land, apartments, and villas to share information anonymously.
"We have created a website where people who have bought or sold properties in recent years can enter what they paid or received after providing some basic details. Our portal provides background price information that is used to create India's first true property price index," Dr Venkatesh Panchapagesan, Assistant Professor, Finance & Control, told City Express.
Panchapagesan is also the Chairperson of IIMB-CRERI, where CRERI stands for Century Real Estate Research Initiative, which manages the site.
He says the "clean price information" will allow consumers to worry about one less thing when they look to buy or sell a property.
"Accurate market value of property is something that we would all like to know," he said.
Typically, people ask how much others have paid, but are unwilling to share what they have paid. "Some people with vested interests exploit this," he said.
The site provides information that puts the customer in a better position to negotiate price. The government can use the same data to improve public policy. "Hence it is a win-win situation for all parties," he said.
How it started
The team that worked on the site came across consumers' stories about lack of reliable price information.
"This is something we became aware of early in our initiative. In any financial or physical market, the two most important variables are price and the product," he explained.
If people do not know what they are buying or whether they are paying the fair price, they are hesitant to transact. Hence transparency is also necessary for any market to survive and grow, he said.
The five-member team inferred that in most cases the price that the consumer sees is the price that builders and brokers want the consumer to see.
"In the absence of reliable third party information, the consumer is easily swayed by statements like 'the price is going to rise, so buy now' and 'the units are going to be sold out soon, so buy now'. What we do is focus on the price at which the buyer actually bought property from the seller," he said.
By knowing the actual price, the consumer gets a more realistic state of the market, he adds.
Share, get critical info
More than 1,200 people have already participated in the website's survey since its launch a week ago.
Want to take part in the Bangalore Price Project? Go here: