Even though demonetisation and a long-drawn slowdown had taken the fizz out of the market things are looking positive for the real estate sector with consumers trickling back into the market and enquiries from homebuyers increasing. Going forward, sales are likely to pick up this year.Enquiries over ready-to-move-in properties have gone up and several developers are offering no EMI for a few years or low EMI schemes to liquidate ready stock. Such schemes were earlier available only for under-construction properties, says Vikram Goel, CEO, HDFC Realty.Under these schemes, buyers are asked not to pay EMI for two years or pay a lower rate of interest of 3.99% for a longer tenure.Consumers are also making enquiries about affordable housing stock and a new set of buyers with budgets of `25 lakh and more is emerging, he adds.This is also a good time to buy property as attractive discounts and deals are being offered by developers. Ajnara is offering free airconditioners, modular kitchens and waiving off club membership fees for most of its projects. For buyers not interested in such freebies, the company is adjusting their cost against the price of the unit. “If customers ask for a cash discount instead of these freebies, we offer them a discount of Rs 200 per sq ft to `250 per sq ft on the total cost of the flat for all our ready-to-move-in inventory which is around 10% to 15%,” says Vineet Gupta, director, Ajnara India.Budget 2017 and demonetisation had reset the market, but prices have stabilised and the scenario is likely to improve in the next few months.Pankaj Kapoor of Liases Foras advises house hunters to look at projects in Delhi NCR where discounts of almost 7% to 10% are being offered for both complete and under-construction properties. The scenario could not have been more favourable to buyers, reiterates Amit Oberoi, national director, Colliers International. Sales have dipped because of a combination of demonetisation and a general slowdown in the market. This is “perhaps the best time to buy property for end users if they have a requirement as there are deals available in the market. Buyers who are interested should negotiate hard to strike the best deal,” he adds. As far as funding for projects and retail loans for buyers is concerned, the last 100 days post demonetisation have seen no shortage of funding for builders with a good track record. The category of builders dependent on cash loans and cash transactions has been hit badly, says a banker. Once the regulator comes in, it will help establish credit worthiness of builders more easily, he says.As for retail loans, the actual buyer is back in the market.