House-hunting celebs make most of slump

Many actors want to capitalise on the ongoing depression in the real estate industry, and are on the lookout for commercial or residential spaces to invest in

While skyrocketing prices keep the common man miles away from the real estate sector, the present slump in the industry has spurred Bollywood celebrities to invest in property. Real estate agents from the suburbs revealed that in the past month, more than a dozen Bollywood stars have been on the hunt, for either commercial property or residential accommodations.  

Ace producer and director Karan Johar recently purchased a 1,000 sq ft space at the Jains Arcade building in Khar, where his present office is located. A real estate broker from Bandra, who was aware of the deal, said that Johar wanted to expand his office, and coincidentally, Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Ltd, which owns part of the building, was looking to sell it off. "Khar (West) is a prime locality and the director must have paid nothing less than Rs 3 crore," added the broker. Johar wasn't available for comment.

Meanwhile, another broker from Khar informed that Vidya Balan is also looking for another two BHK flat in Khar's 17th Road. "She has been looking for an apartment for quite a while, and there are rumours swirling that she has even purchased one. But I think she is still hunting for a better option," said the broker. Vidya's spokesperson, however, denied such claims, adding that Vidya is happy in the apartment she purchased two years ago.

Star Property: Producer Karan Johar recently puchased a 1,000 sq ft
space in the Jains Arcade building in Khar (West). pic/santosh nagwekar

Sanjay Sippy, suburban realtor of the well-known Sippy Housing, said, "There are many celebrities in the market looking for a house, but they have put it on hold as the government's new regulations have stalled the approval of several new constructions. Once the approvals arrive, I will finalise five of my pending deals."

Real estate brokers also claimed that stars like Katrina Kaif and Kareena Kapoor have been house hunting for over a year now. Another broker maintained, "Many celebrities have been delaying their purchases because they have not been able to decide which area they want to buy property in. Now that the real estate market is down, they will surely invest in properties."

According to another agent, Soha Ali Khan is also hunting for an apartment in Bandra, while Jackie Shroff, who was living in a rented pent-house after selling his flat three years ago, is also looking for a home. Realtor Prem Badra, managing director of Big Deal estate in Khar, said, "While the common man is battling the price rise, many celebrities are using this opportunity to invest in flats."

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