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OYO & Zo Rooms blocked on MakeMyTrip, Goibibo, Yatra websites

The move comes at a time when OYO Rooms and Zo Rooms gear up for mega financing rounds in order to capture the budget stays market. 

BENGALURU: Online travel agencies including MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and Yatra have, in a joint move, blocked budget-hotel aggregators such as OYO Rooms and Zo Rooms from listing and marketing hotel properties on their websites, a move that experts say is aimed at protecting market share and margins by these portals.

"MakeMyTrip has temporarily de-listed OYO Rooms from its platform. Zo Rooms is also getting delisted... and will be off from listings by tomorrow (Wednesday)," a MakeMyTrip spokesperson said, calling the move a part of ongoing experiments at the company.

In emails sent separately to OYO Rooms and Zo Rooms, Goibibo acknowledged cancellation of future bookings with these portals. In September, Goibibo launched its own platform, GoStays, to facilitate booking budget accommodation.

OYO Rooms and Zo Rooms confirmed the development but said it had not come in as a surprise. They also don't see much impact to their business. " Online travel agencies have been a longstanding business channel for us, but in current scenario it contributes to less than 10% of business," said Kavikrut, chief growth officer at OYO Rooms.

"There will be a small dip in bookings, but our growth from our app and other associations will more than make up for it," he added. "This transition is not a shock for us," said Paavan Nanda, cofounder at Zo Rooms. "Our growth is mostly driven by our app and website." Zo Rooms is backed by Tiger Global.

Yatra didn't comment.

The move comes at a time when OYO Rooms and Zo Rooms gear up for mega financing rounds in order to capture the budget stays market.

For online travel agencies, hotels are the highest margin category and they don't want to help rivals like OYO Rooms and Zo Rooms while taking a hit on their own business.

"This is a clear move to prevent further erosion of market share. Hotels have the maximum margins for online travel agencies and given that these portals (like OYO and Zo) are selling standardised rooms at a much lower cost, it immediately marks a threat," said an investor in the budget-hotel aggregation sector, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Since raising $100 million (Rs 650 crore) in August OYO Rooms has expanded its network from 12,000 rooms across 1,200 properties in 73 cities to 30,000 rooms in over 3,000 properties in 135 destinations in India. Zo Rooms has aggressively expanded its network to 11,000 rooms in 1,000 hotels across more than 50 cities and towns in India.

Aggregators of budget accommodation work by rebranding individual properties and standardising service levels. Both OYO Rooms and Zo Rooms have been roping in unbranded, small hotels with attractive minimum guarantee deals which ensure property owners revenue.

This inventory of hotel rooms is then being sold at discounted prices to get new customers hooked on to the branded budget stay.


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Realty Trends

Home prices near most-affordable levels in over 30 years: HDFC


Home prices may have been on an upward spiral for many years, but the cost of owning a house in India remains near the most affordable level in over three decades, shows data compiled by mortgage giant HDFC Ltd.

The average price of a home, purchased with a housing loan, rose to over Rs. 45 lakh in the 2012-13 fiscal year -- marking the fourth consecutive year of uptrend from about Rs. 25 lakh in the year 2008-09, HDFC has said in a presentation.

However, factors like an even greater surge in the personal income levels, tax incentives and lower interest rates, have resulted into houses becoming more affordable to purchase, it said.

 

 

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India Property Investment Gyan

Major schemes for affordable housing to be modified: Girija Vyas


NEW DELHI: Major schemes meant for providing affordable housing to urban poor will soon be modified to make them more people-friendly, the government said today and invited the private sector to contribute more actively in this area. 

Speaking to reporters here, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) ministerGirija Vyas today said her ministry is modifying all the major schemes including the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), Rajiv Rinn Yojana and the, Affordable Housing in Partnership scheme and added enormous budgetary support has been earmarked during the current plan period. 

Secretary HUPA Arun Kumar Misra told reporters that a fund of Rs 35,000 crore had been allocated to the ministry for the implementation of three major schemes, including RAY, which was being run in as a pilot project earlier under 12th five- year plan. 

He said the ministry would require approval from the cabinet for the implementation of these schemes and efforts would be made that through these funds 2 million affordable houses are encouraged. 

He said that in addition to the central government funds, banks and credit institutions would be providing funds for construction of affordable houses. 

Vyas said that with urbanisation, the number of urban homeless and area under slums had grown. 

Vyas said there was a need for private developers to develop economic models to foster affordable housing for economically weaker sections and lower income group households in urban areas as government efforts in this direction needed to be supplemented. 

Vyas also said a technical group, set up by her ministry, had shown that out of 18.78 million housing shortage in the country, 96 percent shortage is in EWS and LIG category and for this huge investments and private sector participation were required. 

Misra said the group set up by the ministry has suggested incentives for the affordable housing sector included concessions to development-related charges and service taxexemptions. 

It also sought direct tax rebates for affordable housing projects and inclusion of the sector in the 'infrastructure facility' he said and added the task force had felt that governments need to still provide direct capital grant support to affordable housing projects. 

Misra said that in the symposium held today where states, experts and private sector representatives were present, there was unanimity on many of the suggestions.

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Green Property- Eco Homes

Reclaim your city space: Projects in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata aim to transform lives

 
Three projects in three cities aim to transform the lives of people who live close by. The one in Mumbai hopes to transform a congested area into a green precinct; the one in Delhi converted an open drain into a walkway, while Kolkata hopes to bring the crowds back...