#Asia Remember Housing? It’s back to renting houses again


home, house, room, happy

Photo credit : yarruta / 123RF.

Housing.com, the real-estate startup which made more headlines for its founder’s antics than its business, just announced a return to its roots.

The startup is going back to renting houses on its website come 2017, after a big overhaul of its team cleared out most of its founders and top executives.

Housing, built by a team of 11 college students, ran into trouble when its founder and CEO took to fighting with investors and publicly insulting them. Investors including Softbank eventually stepped in to clean house, and hired Jason Kothari, Housing’s new CEO. The startup has been fixing its issues ever since.

See: Rahul Yadav has been fired as Housing CEO after all

One of Jason’s plans was to get out of the rental market and focus on home buying and selling instead. Home buying is considered more lucrative because of the bigger ticket size of deals.

“Compared to last year, on a monthly basis, the company’s revenues have grown by 400 percent, operating costs have decreased by 70 percent, traffic has increased by more than 200 percent – growing from 1.3 million to 4.1 million – and number of homes listed have increased […] from 110,000 to 630,000,” the company said in a statement.

Housing now says it is ready to give rentals another look, partly sped up by the Indian government’s recent demonetisation move.

housing jason kothari

Housing’s Jason Kothari. Photo credit: Housing.

“Demonetisation is expected to cause a slow-down in the home buying and selling segment, while it will likely spur growth in the home rentals space, making it an opportune time to relaunch the rentals business,” CEO Jason Kothari said in a statement.

See: An absolute beginner’s guide to navigating the ‘PG’ scene in Bangalore

Since 2012, when Housing was launched, India has seen a variety of real estate startups come up and gain popularity. Rival CommonFloor merged with Quikr, India’s answer to classifieds sites like Craigslist and OLX, and companies like Nestaway have tapped into the big market of young inter-city migrants who do not want to tie themselves down with security deposits and the other paraphernalia of housing rentals. Co-working spaces have gained popularity for offices.

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