More than half of the real estate purchase decisions in India are influenced by Internet research, according to a study commissioned by search giant Google.

As per the study, the overall influence of Internet on real estate transaction value of both residential and commercial property including rentals amounts to $ 43 billion, with $ 31 billion for residential and $ 12 billion for commercial.

"This phenomenon of researching online for real estate information before making a decision is not limited to metros but also extended to buyers in tier II cities," Google India Industry Director Nitin Bawankule told reporters in New Delhi.

The study is based on a survey conducted by consultancy firm Zinnov across 15 cities in India, with over 6,000 respondents, along with real estate related search query trends on Google.

Mr. Bawankule said the number of real-estate searches on Google had seen a three fold growth in the last three years.

The primary reasons for researching online were easy access to in-depth property information and market trends (60 per cent), large comparison options (52 per cent), easy access to contact details of owners and developers (49 per cent) and financing and document processing information (43 per cent).

An increasing number of people are also using their mobile devices to search for properties online. "Mobile queries (those originating from mobile phones) are doubling every year and about 40 per cent of total searches came through mobile phones," Mr. Bawankule said.

However, a major concern for people researching online was the lack of accurate and updated information. Respondents said websites of developers and aggregators often lacked availability of in-depth information about property and features like easy price comparison.

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