The trend of industrialists, corporate leaders and start-up owners purchasing luxury ready-to-move-in luxury properties has continued in Mumbai even after the metro cess kicked in on April 1. That’s not all. Even the price of these units is comparable to pre-pandemic rates. This is largely due to the fact that demand for ready-to-move-in luxury units far exceeds supply.
Earlier this month, Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekaran purchased a duplex in a luxury high-rise called 33 South in Mumbai’s Peddar Road for Rs 97.85 crore. Chandrasekaran and his family had been renting the duplex apartment in the same residential project for the last five years on a monthly rental of Rs 20 lakh. The transfer deed was registered on May 4, 2022, documents accessed by Zapkey.com showed.
The property is a duplex apartment located on the 11th and 12th floors of the 28-storey building, spread across an area of 6,800 sq ft. A stamp duty of Rs 5.87 crore was paid by the buyer. The seller is Jeevesh Developers and Properties Pvt Ltd, a company controlled by Samir Bhojwani.
In February, Chandrasekaran was reappointed Tata Sons chairman for another five years. He joined the Board of Tata Sons in October 2016 and was appointed Chairman in January 2017.
The family of Shekhar Bajaj, Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Electricals on April 28, 2022 bought two apartments in the posh Carmichael Residences in Mumbai for Rs 94 crore.
In another deal, Siddharth Jain, director of INOX Leisure, bought a quadruplex flat in Worli, one of Mumbai’s upscale areas, for Rs 144 crore in March 2022. The unit is an amalgamation of flats on the 42nd, 43rd, 44th and 46th floors in Raheja Legend on Dr Annie Besant road, documents showed. The seller is Ashish S Raheja of Raheja Universal. The total built area of the unit is 10,567 sq ft and comes with 12 car parking slots.
Earlier this year, the promoter of diversified firm Nesco, who is also a director of Chandler & Price (India) Pvt Ltd, bought a bungalow for Rs 93 crore in the Malabar Hill area of Mumbai, where independent houses are hard to come by. Laburnum House, a three-storeyed building spread across 9,375 sq ft, was bought by Chandler and Price India Pvt Ltd, which is owned by Krishna Patel who is the promoter of Nesco.Registration record
Interestingly, April 2022 saw record property sale registrations of 11,744 units in Mumbai, contributing over Rs 738 crore to Maharashtra’s revenue, according to data from the Inspector General of Registration, Maharashtra.
The state capital saw sales registrations of 16,726 units in March. This was primarily because buyers advanced property purchases to save on the metro cess levy that kicked in on April 1. Consumers moved their purchases forward by filing applications in March 2022, and registering in April 2022, effectively saving on the 1 percent metro cess on their deals.
“The uptrend in Mumbai's luxury housing market has continued beyond the January-March quarter and into the months of April and May, which is indicative of the strength of the market,” says Amit Goyal, CEO, India Sotheby’s International Realty.
According to data compiled by CRE Matrix, in the first quarter of calendar 2022, Mumbai recorded sales of 306 units costing over Rs 10 crore each. In terms of value, sales were worth Rs 4,877 crore in the first quarter.
The uptick in luxury housing sales in Mumbai is not at all surprising, looking at the fact that the pandemic has led to a demand for bigger and better homes. High-value properties are in demand by top corporate executives, businessmen and start-up founders who have done exceedingly well on their equity ownership portfolio in the last two years, he says.
This is pretty much in line with the global trend we see in Sotheby’s international sales, which have moved from $114 billion in 2019 to $204 billion in 2021.
“Like Mumbai, the Delhi-NCR luxury housing market has also been performing well. We have witnessed and facilitated several big-ticket transactions in the Lutyens Delhi and South Delhi's upscale locations. Sales in the luxury segment are touching pre-COVID levels across top cities of India,” Goyal says.
The luxury residential segment in Mumbai has been active for the past two years or so. While the pandemic impacted life and livelihoods of the population at large, HNIs and UHNIs were not impacted significantly. To gain an advantage from the subdued market conditions and sops offered by the Government, luxury homebuyers sprang into action and concluded many deals, says Anuj Puri, Chairman, ANAROCK Group.
According to the primary sales data shared by Anarock, in South and South-Central Mumbai, primarily dominated by luxury segment homes, around 3,000 units were sold in 2021 — 1.7x of 2020 sales. With around 1,800 units sold in Q1 2022, the region has achieved 60 percent of its sales level in 2021 in the first quarter of 2022 itself.
Demand for luxury projects in Mumbai has risen and been biased towards ready or near-ready projects. Supply of high-quality developments is limited and buyers are happy to pay a premium for the right product, says Shveta Jain, MD, Residential Services, Savills India.
The National Capital Region is also continuing to witness strong demand for luxury addresses and premium developments offering high-class amenities. There is heightened interest for plotted developments, villas in gated communities, standalone bungalows and farm houses. Capital values have started to firm up in select micro-markets in Delhi and Gurugram, and with the current demand momentum, values are likely to see an upward trend, she says.
Sandeep Reddy, co-founder of Zapkey.com, agrees: “Luxury home sales have been on the rise since the onset of the pandemic and the demand remains robust even now. There is a good appetite for luxury apartments with high-end amenities and curated designs.”
Several real estate experts are of the view that the demand for luxury properties has not only increased but prices too have gone up by 6-8 percent. This is largely on account of demand outstripping supply.
They also point out that high-end luxury properties are a popular investment vehicle among corporate bosses and that despite owning several properties as part of wealth creation, they mostly decide to settle in their dream house only towards the end of their corporate careers.
“As most of them are mobile, they generally take a decision regarding their permanent dream houses towards the end of their tenure,” says Ritesh Mehta, senior director and head–west and north, Residential Services, JLL.
Keki M. Mistry, vice chairman and CEO of Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), bought an ultra-luxury apartment in Mumbai worth Rs 41.23 crore just before the deadline of the 3 percent stamp duty cut expired in December 2020.
The Worli property — housed in Artesia, a project launched by K Raheja Corp that offers views of the Arabian Sea and the Bandra-Worli Sea Link — was registered on November 18. The property’s carpet area is 7,390 sq ft and is located on the 35th floor.
On December 4, 2020, former HDFC Bank boss Aditya Puri’s family purchased a Rs 50 crore property in Mumbai. The unit, located in Lodha Seamont on Malabar Hill, near Raj Bhawan in Walkeshwar, is on the 19th floor and comes with seven car parking spaces. The unit is located in a 22-storey building overlooking Raj Bhavan, the state governor's official residence. The development offers a limited selection of 3- and 4-bed residences and the homes afford stunning views of the Queen’s Necklace (Marine Drive) and the Arabian Sea.