The global proptech industry is forecast to reach $86.5 billion by 2032, advancing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.8 per cent, according to a report by Future Market Insights. The figure stood at $18.2 billion in 2022.

The total number of startups and more established proptech companies currently equals over 10,000 vendors. Globally, the United States holds the largest share of proptech companies, with 59.7 per cent of the world’s total, followed by Europe (27.2 per cent) and Asia (3.5 per cent).

The real estate sector in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) is also rapidly evolving to reach out to their customers digitally. This is due to more broad technological transformation across the region’s industries. Another factor behind transformation is the high demand for local property from foreign investors. For instance, last year Dubai became one of the primal destinations for wealthy people across the globe with the local real estate market experiencing a 20-40 per cent increase in prices.

There are plenty of property technologies that have the potential to transform the local real estate market. Among them are virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree cameras, which allow buyers to take virtual tours of properties from the comfort of their own homes. There is also an ongoing discussion about the metaverse where customers will be able to trade virtual properties.

However, the simplest yet the most disruptive technology is a marketplace where a customer can find apartments and buy them online within several seconds as if he booked a hotel via Airbnb.

By introducing this platform to Dubai’s market, the UAE-based proptech startup Realiste made its debut last year. The platform displays off-plan properties with value market discounts and allows buying them directly from developers.

Originating in Russia, Realiste entered the UAE market in February 2022. It took the company less than a year to attract more than 12 advisers to its board, including vice-chairwoman of the board at Emaar Aisha Bin Bishr. The company also partnered with 27 developers. By the end of 2022, the company approached $1 million in monthly revenue and is targeting $30 million by the end of 2023.

The platform is targeting real estate investors who wish to find the most profitable properties from around the globe without spending weeks on research. “The idea was to wake up in the morning, look at all the countries in the world, and understand in seconds which city, or, residential area, or apartment is ripe for investing right now based on data and projections,” Alex Galtsev recalls the history behind creating Realiste.

For now, using Realiste’s platform investors can choose properties from 10 cities, including Dubai, London, and New York. But the startup is expected to add more than 30 cities to the platform throughout this year.

Apart from matching buyers and sellers, Realiste’s AI can also calculate for clients the future growth of a particular asset and suggest how to manage an apartment according to an investment strategy — for example, reselling it in one or two years or renting it out.

Realiste AI is taught to accumulate data about the housing market, filter it, and highlight the most overpriced and underestimated districts based on that information. It can also showcase a price history of a particular area or asset and calculate for users how much they would earn in one or two, or three years, if they invested in a particular apartment in a particular building. It can also tell what rental yield they can expect from their properties.

Last year Realiste used this tool to see how prices changed over 2022 in Dubai, what areas of this city saw the most tremendous growth and what market players can expect from 2023. It stated, for example, that property prices in Dubai grew on average by 20-40 per pent over the 12 months, with properties in Trade Centre First posting up to a whopping 210 per cent jump. As for 2023, AI predicted that local prices will see an increase of 15 per cent, with some areas growing by up to 46 percent.

In addition, Realiste’s technology showed that areas that were not popular among buyers such as Wadi Al Safa 4, Hessayan First, and Al Yalayis will see sharp rises in prices ranging up to 46 per cent, while favourites of 2022 like Trade Centre First, Al Wasl Part 2 and Palm Jumeirah expected to see only moderate growth in prices.

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