Samudra Mahal — the nearly five-decade-old luxurious, sea-facing residential complex in Mumbai's posh Worli area is back in the news due to now-infamous resident Yes Bank Founder Rana Kapoor.
Home to Mumbai's rich, the complex was earlier in the limelight as shamed diamantaire Nirav Modi's residence. Incidentally, both Kapoor and Modi occupied duplex units on the top floor.
So, what makes this two-wing, 25-storeyed complex premium estate? For starters, crème de la crème from the country's corporate world reside in its 100-odd three bedroom-hall-kitchen (BHK), duplex units, famous 'jodi' apartments and two bungalows.
Secondly, this is perhaps the only apartment block in the area which has an unhindered 360-degree view of the sea; while the third and most important factor is that this is perhaps among the few complexes in south Mumbai that has a freehold title.
And the price? It can set you back anywhere between Rs 20-45 crore.
"This is a prestigious address in town. The three-acre complex has about 100-odd apartments and two bungalows. Every fifth level of the building has a duplex. The 3BHK units are of size 1,710 sq ft and the duplex is about 3,420 sq ft. Several owners have bought two 3BHK apartments and turned it into ‘jodi apartments’," says Ritesh Mehta, senior director and head, West India, Residential, Jones Lang Lasalle India.
Impact of slowdown
Has the project been adversely affected by the slowdown in the real estate market? Not really. The current rate is Rs 1.12-1.15 lakh per sq ft on carpet area for a 3BHK which makes its worth at around Rs 22 crore -Rs 24 crore. Three years ago, it was in the range of Rs 1.15- 1.25 lakh per sq ft..
"Prices may have slightly decreased, by about 4 percent to 5 percent due to the general slowdown in the market but even that has not had a major impact because of the limited number of units in the complex," Mehta says.
The cost of the bungalows should be around Rs 60 crore to Rs 80 crore considering the size is around 10,000 sq ft.
As far as rental values are concerned, the yield is much higher compared to other buildings in the vicinity. "On average, the rental yield is about 3 percent. A 1,700 carpet sq ft apartment commands a rent of Rs 4.5 lakh to Rs 4.75 lakh a month and a duplex fetches Rs 8.5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh per month," he says.
What’s in the neighbourhood
This property was earlier a palace owned by the royal family of Gwalior.
Located close to the complex is the Madhuli Housing Cooperative Society, which shot into the limelight several years ago thanks to Big Bull Harshad Mehta whose family owned several apartments. There are also a few independent bungalows which at today’s value command anything between Rs 80 crore to Rs 100 crore, as per property consultants active in the area.
Other premium apartment complexes located close to this apartment block include Omkar 1973, Indiabulls Blu, Three Sixty West by Oberoi Realty and Lodha Group's The Park.
Most real estate projects in the vicinity command Rs 85,000 to Rs 90,000 per sq ft. The slowdown may not have impacted prices of these apartments but the velocity of sales have been affected.
"In Samudra Mahal, it takes less than three months to sell a Jodi apartment or a duplex, while a 3BHK apartment may take more than six months," explains Mehta.
That’s because a 3BHK in Samudra Mahal competes with stock available in other high-density luxury projects, Mehta says, adding that while 70-80 families reside in these 100-odd apartments, there are more than 160 units in other complexes.
According to Atin Dasgupta, founder of Gupta and Sen, enquiries for units in this complex are high because it is a marquee property with a relatively higher floor space index (FSI).
Interestingly, most vacant houses in the complex are bought by those residing in it. "There could be 80-odd families residing in these 100 apartments," says Mehta.
40, Amrita Shergill Marg, Delhi
Kapoor acquired this bungalow in Delhi’s Lutyens zone for around Rs 380 crore from Gautam Thapar who had mortgaged the property to Yes Bank for a corporate loan of Rs 600 crore.
Reports said that when the industrialist decided to settle the dues with the bank by expressing his willingness to sell the property, Kapoor’s wife launched a shell company called Bliss Abode in 2017. The bank invited bids but eventually sold the bungalow to Bliss Abode for Rs 380 crore.
Real estate brokers active in the area say that the bungalow is up for sale again and may command a price between Rs 425 crore to 450 crore.
The total built-up area of the bungalow is around 12,500 sq ft and the size of the plot is 6,000 square yards.
A bungalow in the vicinity sold for about Rs 250 crore almost seven to eight years ago which means that prices in this area have not been impacted by the slowdown in the real estate market.
Another bungalow in the area that has a built-up of 5,600 sq ft is up for sale. "It is on a one-acre plot of which only half-acre is available for sale. The price being quoted is Rs 210 crore," says a local broker.
There are close to about 50 houses in this area all of which are marquee plots. A similar half-acre plot located on tony Prithvi Raj Road recently sold for Rs 250 crore. Another property located on a one-acre plot on this stretch is going for Rs 500 crore. The built-up area of the bungalow is 8,800 sq ft.
"Most of these bungalows are located in Lutyens zone where no alterations or extensions are permissible. The cost of the unit is dependent on the built-up area available," explains a broker.
As for present market conditions, while the sales may be slow, they are on. This is also a pure end-use market.
"If it took three to six months to close a deal in this area a few years ago, it takes one-and-a-half to two years now. Price also depends on how motivated the seller is," says a broker.
"Delhi is divided into fifth, fourth and third generation colonies. Most of these colonies – Amrita Shergill Marg, Prithvi Raj Road and Golf Links are inhabited by the fifth generation as most of the houses here are as old as 1930. Malcha Marg, Golf Links, Defence Colony were established in the 1950s and these are in the fourth generation. Vasant Vihar, Greater Kailash, New Friends Colony, South Extension came up in the 1960s and 1970s. These are in the third generation,” says Rohit Chopra of SanD Advisory.
In most of the fifth generation colonies, the supply of marketable or clean-titled properties is limited. Prices of properties in these locations therefore also depend on the title.
"Now that people realise the importance of succession planning in each of these houses there is a debate over whether they would want to sell, reconstruct or collaborate. Most owners want to enter into deals so that their families are settled more effectively," Chopra adds.