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The current festive season of Navaratra is expected to add some sparkle to the embattled real estate market that is facing a slowdown for a long time now.

Thankfully, apart from a marked improvement in the sentiment of buyers as well as the sector in view of the recent policy reforms, property prices are currently down and developers are also willing to negotiate with buyers in a bid to push up sales.

A large number of homebuyers, however, are still in a kind of dilemma–whether to buy property in the current market scenario or wait for the formation of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), which is only a few months away from now.

According to industry experts, if someone is willing to wait for the regulator, one can do so because RERA promises to bring in the much-needed transparency and accountability to the rather opaque sector. However, there are also various other facts to consider.

An important point to note is some recent developments in the market. For instance, the market has already started showing positive signs with demand for houses slowly picking up pace.Many developers have also started raising funds to quickly finish their stalled projects and deliver them to the homebuyers.

“With the advent of RERA, many not-so-credible developers will find it hard to sustain, kick-starting a consolidation process which will allow only credible developers to remain in the market. This will infuse positive sentiment at the buyers’ end and help in increasing demand. With increased sales velocity, developers’ cash situation will also improve, and they will be more upfront in delivering projects on time,“ Anuj Puri, chairman and country head of JLL India, said.

However, fence-sitters must bear in mind that RERA will take at least another year to become an actionable law, as the various states need to adopt it individually. “This process has already begun, but waiting for the entire process to complete may mean that buyers miss a number of good investment opportunities available now, especially in relation to the current festive season offers. So, rather than wait for RERA, buyers should look at proj ects by reputed developers where there is visible progress in construction and possession is likely to happen within 6-12 months,“ Puri said.

Some experts and developers are also of the opinion that it is the right time to go for one’s dream home. “Today is defi nitely the right time to acquire a piece of property based on one’s requirement, priorities, budget, location of the project, and all other needs. Property prices are currently low and various options are available as per one’s budget and requirement. You can also take advantage of the numerous festive offers currently available in the market. But no one is sure what will happen in the future–whether prices will rise or decline. I, therefore, don’t think that it is wise to defer one’s real estate purchase,“ Parveen Jain, CMD of Tulip Infratech, says.

Vijay Gupta, CMD of Orris Infrastructure, is of similar opinion. “Real estate is already cheap. In terms of pricing, we don’t think there is further scope for the prices of property to go down.It is true that after RERA, we will see time-bound delivery of projects and buying a piece of property will undoubtedly become much safe. But the most important factor is the reputation and track record of a builder.“

“There is a general view that purchasing property will become safer once RERA is in place. But one cannot ignore the fact that property is likely to become costlier after RERA is in place. Also, the market is weak today and, in a bid to push up sales, developers are willing to give rebates in the form of attractive payment plans and additional features. So, this definitely seems to be the right time to buy a house,“ Sumit Berry, managing director of the BDI Group, said. Industry experts say that conservative buyers may wait for RERA, while those looking for good deals may make a move right away. Whatever be the case, some precautions are definitely needed while going in for one’s dream home.

“One must thoroughly check the credentials of the developer before making an investment. Buyers must find out the accessibility options of the project and whether all the required clearances have been obtained or not,“ Rahul Singla, director of MAPSKO Group, said.

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