Mumbai’s ultra-rich rush to register luxury houses as deadline for Maharashtra’s stamp duty cut nears

In India’s commercial capital, most opulent projects in the price range of Rs 30 crore to Rs 50 crore are located in redeveloped, standalone buildings in the city’s tony South neighbourhoods such as Napean Sea Road, Malabar Hill, Walkeshwar and Breach Candy.

To paraphrase former UK prime minister Harold Wilson, a week is a long time for Mumbai’s ultra-rich to buy properties of their choice, irrespective of whatever it takes.

That is precisely what is happening in India’s commercial capital. With a few days to go before the stamp-duty cut, which was brought in to shore up the real estate market, ends in Maharashtra, the super-rich are rushing to close high-end deals in Mumbai.

If a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is threatening India, it isn't showing on the city’s affluent real estate radar.

Take, for instance, Ravi Purushottam Agrawal, an industrialist, who, along with his wife, bought three luxury apartments in Raheja Artesia, Worli, on the 36th floor. The cost of the apartments is Rs 76.5 crore, registration data accessed by Zapkey.com said.

The deal registered on March 2, 2021 includes an apartment valued at Rs 27.6 crore, with a carpet area of 3,706 sq ft, and four parking slots. A stamp duty of Rs 55.2 lakh was paid for the unit.

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The second apartment on the same floor is, if anything, even better. At Rs 27.6 crore and a carpet area of 3,748 sq ft, it comes with four parking lots. A stamp duty of Rs 55.2 lakh was paid for the unit, registration documents show.

The third apartment with a carpeted area of 2,964 sq ft was bought for Rs 21.2 crore and a stamp duty of Rs 42.5 lakh paid.

The stamp duty for all three apartments was paid in December 2020 when the rate was two percent. The deal was registered in March.

Also read: Stamp duty cut in Maharashtra drives property registration of over 10,000 housing units worth Rs 11,000 crore

Ritesh A Mehta, Senior Director & Head – West India, Residential Services, JLL India, says a reduction of two percent to three percent is a big amount for high-value apartments.

A query sent to Ravi Purushottam Agrawal went unanswered.

In another deal registered on March 24, Dheeraj Relli, MD and CEO of HDFC Securities, bought a 12thfloor apartment valued at Rs 30.31 crore in the same project. The carpet area of the unit is 3,702 sq ft and it comes with three car parks. In this case, a stamp duty of Rs 90.95 lakh was paid, as per registration documents accessed by Zapkey.com

“There is traction in the Worli project, primarily because it is a Tier 1 ready-to-move-in apartment with ready amenities and an occupation certificate,” says Mehta.

In Mumbai, most luxury projects in the price range of Rs 30 crore to Rs 50 crore are located in standalone buildings that have an address. Many of these are in tony South Mumbai neighbourhoods such as Napean Sea Road, Malabar Hill, Walkeshwar, Breach Candy, or are sea-facing. “These are generally redeveloped old buildings that offer no amenities, only an address,” he says.

Several transactions worth Rs 25 crore to Rs 50 crore have been registered in the Mumbai market since the stamp duty cut was announced in August 2020, indicating that there is an appetite for the high-value segment even in these troubled times.

Also read: Maharashtra real estate developers urge government to extend stamp duty benefit

On August 26, the Maharashtra government decided to temporarily reduce stamp duty on housing units from five percent to two percent until December 31, 2020 to boost the stagnant real estate market, hit doubly hard by COVID-19.

The stamp duty from January 1, 2021 until March 31, 2021 will be three percent.

Entrepreneur, financial adviser and venture capitalist Arihant Patni bought Rs 28.8-crore unit in Raheja Artesia. It comes with three car parks. He paid a stamp duty of Rs 86 lakh on the deal, which was registered on February 23, as per documents shared by Zapkey.com.

K Raheja Corp’s Artesia is an iconic stand-alone 45-storey tower with an expansive view of the Arabian Sea and the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. Brokers put the per sq ft rate of apartments in Raheja Artesia at around Rs 70,000, with average rentals kissing the Rs 7.5-lakh per-month mark.

In December, HDFC vice-chairman and CEO Keki Mistry bought an ultra-luxury apartment in Mumbai worth Rs 41.23 crore. It was registered on November 18, local brokers said. The property’s carpet area is 7,390 sq ft and it is located on the 35th floor, they said, adding it has eight parking lots.

The property attracted a stamp duty of Rs 95.6 lakh, they said. The project is funded by HDFC, according to the project’s website. The reduction of stamp duty, it appears, is a model that other Tier 1 cities could do well to emulate.
Vandana Ramnani
first published: Mar 27, 2021 10:13 am

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