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Rs 100-crore apartments are hot!
Ravi Teja Sharma in New Delhi
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January 20, 2007
At a time when prices are merely notional if the address is right, it's hardly surprising that the cost of residential properties in New Delhi and Mumbai are going, quite literally, through the roof. Hold out long enough for the right buyer and even the most generous estimates by real estate agents or consultants could go awry.

And as Indians gain the confidence to spend as well as aspire to A-lists everywhere, a few more crores are hardly likely to matter when the price of even an apartment matches that of a decent, mid-sized company!

Only a week ago, the Oswals bought a bungalow on an acre of land on New Delhi's Tilak Marg (in prestigious Lutyens Delhi) for Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion). Other industrialists who own houses in the neighbourhood are steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, Bharti Enterprises managing director Sunil Bharti Mittal and DLF chairman K P Singh.

The most a property in this central part of Delhi has fetched is a whopping Rs 137 crore for a bungalow on Amrita Shergill Marg, becoming the most expensive residential real estate to change hands in India. The one-acre plot was purchased by Sanjay Singal of Bhushan Power & Steel.

Lakshmi Mittal, who bought a 12-bedroom mansion in London's Kensington Palace Gardens in 2004 for $125 million (Rs 550 crore), also got a slice of Delhi's residential pie for a more modest Rs 40 crore (Rs 400 million) on Prithviraj Road. Today it is valued at Rs 80-100 crore (Rs 800 million- Rs 1 billion).

According to real estate anaysts, Treveni Infrastructures picked up a 2.8 acre property on Sikandra Road for Rs 115 crore (Rs 1.15 billion). In another recent transaction, the Jindals bought a 3.2 acre property on Mansingh Road for Rs 125 crore (Rs 1.25 billion).

If Lutyens Delhi is the city's power address, in its Tony Khan Market or Jorbagh areas you should expect to pay Rs 3 lakh per sq yard. On S P Marg, where liquor baron Vijay Mallya owns a house, the going rate is around Rs 5 lakh per sq yard.

There is news now about highrise apartments being developed in central Delhi's Connaught Place. These 4,000 sq ft apartments could cost as much as Rs 16,000 per sq ft or Rs 6.4 crore (Rs 64 million) overall.

DLF is building a nine-storey apartment complex on 2.5 acres in W-block of Greater Kailash II, in south Delhi. These 6,000 sq ft apartments are being sold for over Rs 21 crore (Rs 19,000-25,000 per sq ft), by invitation only. Sources tell us about a possible development of apartments and individual bungalows by DLF in GK-II's E-block.

DLF also has a plan for very high-end villas in posh Chanakyapuri. These 6,000-7,000 sq ft villas could cost between Rs 12-14 crore (Rs 20,000 per sq ft).

Gurgaon too has some big ones. The top-end penthouse at Ansal's The Ivy could cost between Rs 5-8 crore (Rs 50-80 million). A 2,500-4,500 sq ft apartment at DLF's new Park Place and Park Tower ranges between Rs 1.75-3.15 crore (Rs 17.5-31.5 million). Omaxe's The Forest Noida offers apartments ranging from 4,000-6,500 sq ft for Rs 2.25-4.5 crore (Rs 22.5-45 million).

Delhi may have raised the bar where expensive residential rates are concerned, but Mumbai is still leagues ahead on average.

"Every second building in Mumbai commands a huge price, anything above Rs 25,000 per sq ft to sometimes even upto a whopping Rs 75,000 per sq ft," says architect Hafeez Contractor.

The NCPA Apartments at Nariman point are among the most expensive in Mumbai with an uninterrupted view of the sea. Rs 60,000 per sq ft is the current rate there. The vice-chairman of Reliance Capital, Amitabh Jhunjhunwala, recently bought a 2,880 sq ft apartment at NCPA for Rs 18 crore (at Rs 63,000 per sq ft).

Other expensive areas in Mumbai are Cuffe Parade, Napeansea Road, Carmichael Road, Altamount Road and now Worli and Bandra as well.

Shah Rukh Khan's bungalow Mannat, on Bandra Bandstand, is currently valued between Rs 70-100 crore (Rs 700 million-Rs 1 billion). The approximate rate here is Rs 30,000-plus per sq ft, as opposed to Rs 15,000-20,000 per sq ft at Juhu, where Amitabh Bachchan owns a bungalow.

Indiabulls promoter Saurabh Mittal recently bought a 5,500 sq ft apartment in Maker Building on Cuffe Parade for Rs 40 crore (Rs 400 million). The rate here is a whopping Rs 72,000 per sq ft.

A recent transaction in Sunita Building on Malabar Hill for a 3,450 sq ft apartment, where the rate is even higher, fetched Rs 1.03 lakh per sq ft. Leading stockbroker Rakesh Jhunjhunwala bought a 4,400 sq ft apartment at El Palazzo on Malabar Hill for Rs 25 crore (at Rs 57,000 per sq ft).

Among the most impressive buildings under construction in Mumbai is Shapoorji Pallonji's Imperial Towers on Kambala Hill. Two 65-storey towers, with the first 12 storeys reserved for car parking, have two 25,000 sq ft penthouses on top. At a conservative Rs 50,000 a sq ft, each of these penthouses could cost Rs 125 crore.

Standing tall at 36 storeys, the building on the old Chattan Bungalow site at Altamount Road, being developed by K Raheja Universal, will blow your mind. The first 12 stories offer just amenities.

The remaining 24 storeys have 12 duplex apartments stacked on top of each other. Each apartment has its own huge terrace and an elevator to take the car right up to the living room. The whole building itself is on a hill, enhancing the view.

The view might be better from the top, but luxury living seems to be a goal in itself.

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