Real Estate Knowledge

3 Ways Real Estate Is Moving Online

  • China developer Evergrande makes USD $39 BILLION in sales through online sales
  • An 180-sq. meter apartment in Shanghai sold online for USD $2.4 million

In recent decades, modern technology has made it much easier for us to adapt to the “online” life. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has shifted a lot of brick-and-mortar businesses to operating online. The real estate industry is no different from the others.

Property Aggregators

In the U.S.

Real estate companies are now embracing e-commerce by creating online portals and websites to list properties. Buyers can easily preview their ideal homes and have access to all necessary information within a few clicks. Zillow, a leading real estate company in the U.S., reported that it had received 36 million monthly visits to its website as of January 2020. The traffic to their sale listings on their website increased to 41% in 2020. This shows that the pandemic has significantly changed home buyers’ house search journey.

In China

Let’s take a look on the other side of the world. In the midst of lockdowns and layoffs during the COVID-19 outbreak , China Evergrande Group, the largest developer in the country, was the first to generate sales online by launching an app called Hengfangtong. The app allows users to view areas of property virtually, such as hallways, rooms and parking lots etc. The group’s revenue rose 17.5 % to 266.63 billion RMB (equivalent to $39.05 billion) including 82% sales from Hengfangtong. This allowed the group to get ahead of the game and become the world’s most valuable real estate brand.

Evergrande Group, the largest developer in China.

In Southeast Asia

The increasing number of online real estate portals has made home searching journeys more efficient and convenient. Hiroki Kazato, CEO of PropertyAccess, stated that amidst the global pandemic in 2020, he successfully transacted over $60 million worth of Philippine property due to the growth in digitalization.

In other parts of Southeast Asia, there has also been an increase in the online presence of real estate developers and companies. The top property portals in different regions are listed below:

  • China
    • (1.5 million visits)
  • South Korea
    • (15 million monthly visits)
  • Japan
    • (Japan real estate market leader)
  • Taiwan
    • (Top Taiwan property portal)
  • Vietnam
    • (4 million monthly visits)
  • Malaysia
    • (3.2 million monthly visits)
  • Indonesia
    • (8.5 million monthly visits)

The above Asian countries are ranked as the top producers in different areas, such as agricultural, mining and industrial products etc. This has brought tremendous wealth to the countries. Therefore, the emerging economies in these regions have caught the eyes of many overseas investors as the property markets remain vibrant and bring value in the long term.

Top property portals in Southeast Asia.

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Social Media

Social Media plays a crucial role in the online property sale process. A report released by the National Association of Realtors, suggested that around 50% of real estate professionals find social media platforms as one of the top technology tools that provide the highest quality of leads. With the increasing number of social media users, numbering in more than half of the world’s population having access to the internet, the number of online home seekers is only to increase with time.

Online Auctions

In the U.S., property has a typical value of around $300k USD. However, property prices vary drastically due to different aspects, such as the season and area. Therefore, the average property prices range between $300k up to a million.

On the other hand, online auctions of properties have been thriving in China. Taobao, an e-commerce portal operated by Alibaba Group Holding, had listed properties for bid. For example, a 180-sq. meter apartment in western Shanghai was sold for 15.95 million RMB (equivalent to $2.4 million). The price was nearly 50% higher than the initial quote of 10.85 million RMB. As you can see from here, online real estate auctions attract people to sell their properties on the platform. However, they also add value to buyers. Since listed properties start bids at 20% to 30% below the appraised value, properties can be bought at a lower price.

An apartment in western Shanghai, drew 90 bids in an auction.

In Conclusion….

The global pandemic has pushed businesses, particularly the real estate industry, to rapidly transform their way of generating sales. Online property sale is the future trend in the industry. Therefore, companies had to strive to keep up with the technology as well as investing in them to drive businesses and maintain competitiveness.

Now that you’re here…

At Denzity, we help you find your next overseas property. If you have any enquiries about the above properties, or questions about the process, reach out to our team here. Stay tuned for more investor focused content, financial advice, and industry updates.


Please note all the above stated is opinion only and does not constitute proper investment advice. Denzity is not liable for any investment decisions that result from following the opinions outlined above.