New condo in Mumbai’s old neighbourhood combo deal commands highest price

May 2, 2024

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MUMBAI: While old A-lister buildings in tony neighbourhoods such as Malabar Hill and Cumballa Hill are still coveted, wealthy families are increasingly gravitating towards new condos that come with coffee shops, padel tennis courts and pools. A new highrise in an old neighbourhood seems to be the headiest combination for those who can afford it in Mumbai’s ever-changing Monopoly board game, suggesting recent sale values.

For example, a flat in a building like Kamal Mahal, nestled in a quiet enclave on Carmichael Road, recently went for Rs 1.1 lakh per square foot, while the new Carmichael Residency highrise in the same enclave—which comes with a rooftop pool and a fancy gym—is commanding a price upwards of Rs 1.35 lakh per square foot, according to real estate consultant Malcolm Dadrewala. He points out that a little further down the road, a flat in a brand new condo called Morena House recently sold for Rs 85 crore, working out to about Rs 1.5 lakh per square foot, even though it does not have the land resources or facilities compared with, say, Raheja Vivarea – which is going for around Rs 80,000 per square foot.

The condos in central Mumbai are built on vast tracts of what were once mill compounds, but that does not seem to factor into the price when compared with condos in the tree-lined old-world neighbourhoods. While a Morena House is built on a mere half acre, Vivarea spreads across 14 acres in the congested Mahalaxmi area.

A residential neighbourhood such as Carmichael Road is perhaps the most expensive real estate in the country and apartments here are coveted despite not having the frills of a BeauMonde or Vivarea. Because of limited land availability in premium old-time areas like Malabar Hill, Walkeshwar Road or Carmichael Road, most new condos here occupy barely half to maximum one acre.

There is definitely a constituency of old-timer home buyers who are willing to pay a much higher price in south Mumbai buildings without sports facilities or coffee shops within the residential premises. For them, the zip code is more important than the frills. It is also likely that they have access to private sports clubs which offer these facilities. In contrast, younger corporate achievers – often from outside Mumbai, and without access to club memberships – generally opt for the luxury complexes with land and amenities like gyms and pools.

And the combination of neighbourhood and new condo with amenities is a winner. Apartments in the still under-construction Lodha Malabar at Walkeshwar Road are selling for Rs 1.4 lakh per square foot—more than double of what an apartment went for in a premium building like Il Palazzo, near Hanging Gardens.

“Older buildings like Kamal Mahal, Hill Park, Sunita, etc have a dedicated set of customers always willing to buy at a high price, because of various factors like gentry, ambience, old wealth, privacy, address and association,” says Reshmi Panicker, executive director, land services and residential, Knight Frank India. “The demand for these kinds of residential units far exceeds the supply and availability. New buildings are attractive for the modern amenities, specifications, offerings, parking, etc and the ability for growing families to be accommodated under one roof. Both have a dedicated set of buyers and it is interesting to see how some of the younger generation is slowly veering towards the new luxury towers, which offer more amenities and lifestyle.” She says that both old and new buildings are transacting at between Rs 90,000 and Rs 1.4 lakh per square foot, while some of the new projects quote as high as Rs 1.75 to 2 lakh per square foot.

“Homes in these south Mumbai areas have been commanding very high prices for a very long time,” says Sandeep Ahuja, CEO, Atmosphere Living, explaining that they come with a unique demographic of “distinguished gentry” and “low density”. The only missing link has been the incremental luxury amenities. “Luxury towers definitely command a premium as most residents are seeking that upgrade but do not want to reside in any other location.”

  • Published On May 2, 2024 at 09:20 AM IST

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