If you believed real estate agents when they bemoaned the prolonged slump in their sector, then think again. A duplex apartment in the opulent Samudra Mahal building in Worli has been sold at the rate of Rs 1.10 lakh per square foot, making it one of the most expensive real estate deals clinched in this financial year.
Our figures indicate that this occupies the third place in the list of the most costly real estate deals ever to have been struck in the city, as far as private residences are concerned. An apartment in Tahnee Heights on Napean Sea Road that was sold for Rs 1.2 lakh per square foot in June this year retains the mantle for the costliest deal ever struck for a private residence. A residence in Cuffe Parade’s Jolly Maker 1 comes a close second, being sold in February at Rs 1.11 lakh per square foot.
The buyer shelled out a staggering Rs 40 crore for the 3,638 square foot apartment. According to sources, the deal was bagged by the international real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle at some point after last weekend. The duplex sprawls over the seventh and eighth floors of the high-rise.
The firm stayed tightlipped about the deal, with none of the officials agreeing to divulge any inside information. A manager who refused to come on record however confirmed that the flat has been sold, adding that a top banker on the rolls of an international bank inked the deal.
A senior real estate agent from South Mumbai confirmed that the deal had created quite a stir in the real estate industry, which is weathering one of the longest recessionary periods. The last noteworthy deals in recent memory were struck in the year 2010. In November that year, a flat was sold at the rate of Rs 1.07 lakh per square foot. In April the same year, another duplex went for Rs 1.03 lakh per square foot. “Samudra Mahal is an iconic building and hence it commands a special rate. However, even we were surprised that a deal was struck at such a good rate, especially in a lukewarm market,” said the broker.
Another broker however remained circumspect, saying that the deal was a one-off thing, and not representative of the market scenario. “Builders are finding it difficult to sell their flats at present, but this downturn is not applicable for the super-premium sector like Samudra Mahal. Buildings like this do command such rates. If the past records are taken into consideration, you’ll see that prices for Samudra Mahal apartment hasn’t gone up much. In two years, it has witnessed an appreciation of Rs 3,000 per square foot,” he said.
In 2010, the prices of Samudra Mahal went up by Rs 4,000 per square foot in the space of six months. Prices for flats in the same building have increased by only Rs 3,000 per square foot in two years, between November 2010 and December 2012. “This isn’t much of an appreciation. It clearly shows that prices haven’t escalated the way they should,” added the broker.