An impromptu survey conducted among Indian valuers during a seminar in India elicited interesting responses.
In mid-August 2017, while giving a presentation at a conference in India, I conducted a survey among Indian valuers on their views of the Indian property market.
The first three questions asked Indian valuers to rate the Indian economy for years 2016 – 2018. The result: Out of a top rating of 10, the economy was assessed at 5.7 in 2016, 6.1 in 2017 and estimated at 7.4 in 2018. It should be mentioned that the standard deviation was quite low. This implied that the results were somewhat reliable.
The results showed that Indian valuers are optimistic that the Indian economy is on track to improve progressively over the years. A similar sentiment was expressed for the Indian property market where out of a top rating of 10, it was assessed at 5.4 for both 2016 and 2017 and a significant improvement to 6.4 in 2018. This signifies a gradual improvement in market sentiments of the property market.
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The valuers also gave their views on which sector of the property market would do well in the near future. The following table indicated a quarter of the valuers feel that the commercial sector would perform well, followed by the residential and industrial sectors (both attracting 17% of the votes). The least promising were rental apartments and townships at 4% each.
Sectors                                         % of Popularity
Land                                                        5%
Affordable housing                           8%
Rental apartments                            4%
Housing                                                17%
Residential                                          11%
Commercial                                        25%
Industrial                                            17%
Infrastructure                                   11%
Township                                              4% 

Overall, the residential sector comprising housing, residential, rental apartments and affordable housing contributed 40% to the Indian economy which is on a recovery phase.
In the past, there were a lot of people living on the streets in major Indian cities. Nowadays, the proportion of these substandard housing including slums and the like is shrinking over time. Further, the optimism over commercial properties, industrial properties and infrastructure reflected the increasingly stronger economic structure of the country.

DR.SOPON PORNCHOKCHAI is President of the Agency for Real Estate Affairs (AREA), President of FIABCI Thailand Chapter and President of the Thai Appraisal Foundation. He was formerly a consultant to the ESCAP, UN-Habitat and World Bank. He can be contacted at :


The last question asked the Indian valuers the following question: “If you have a chance to buy properties abroad, which country would you choose?”. There was a diversity of answers which were grouped.
About one-fifth (18%) would like to buy properties in the USA. This was the top destination for Indians. This was followed by UK at 13% – no surprise here due to the close colonial ties with the British. Thailand took the third spot in their priority garnering 9% of total responses. This is not too surprising as Thailand and India have had good relationship for centuries.
Next was Australia (9%) which was chosen mainly for migration purpose while both Singapore and UAE tied at 8% for investment purpose.
It should be mentioned that very few would buy properties in China. I leave this phenomenon for the interpretation of the readers themselves.


Indian valuers who have good knowledge of the markets are generally optimistic about the economic outlook of India. This positive vibe extends to the property market as well particularly the residential sector with special attention to affordable housing.
Quite surprisingly, USA is the first destination of choice for Indian property buyers followed by the UK, Thailand, Australia and Singapore.
On the whole, India has bright prospects because of its ongoing economic recovery. People can afford to buy a house in the open market instead of staying in substandard housing. As a result, there is good demand for affordable housing today.
Due to the huge population at 1.3 billion, India is one of the largest markets in the world. The country is one of the largest sources of affordable labourers as well. As such, foreign direct investment in Indian real estate should be quite an attractive proposition.

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