Lodha Developers Pvt. Ltd has sold an apartment in Lodha Altamount, its super luxury project coming up in upmarket south Mumbai at 141,543 per sq. ft.

The five-bedroom apartment with a livable area of 2,826 sq. ft along with a pool and a terrace was sold for 40 crore, said a spokesperson for Lodha, India’s largest developer in terms of sales.

A Mumbai-based businessman bought the property, the spokesperson said, but did not reveal the identity of the buyer. This is the first apartment sold in the project.

This is possibly the highest per square foot price for an apartment in an under-construction project in recent times, said property consultants. Property prices in south Mumbai, one of the most expensive locations in the country, are in the range of 1 lakh-1.20 lakh per sq ft.

Lodha Developers recently launched The Luxury Collection, a separate business vertical to develop super-luxury projects, starting with Mumbai and London. Based in London, it will have a portfolio of residential projects, which will be serviced by St. Amand Hospitality, Lodha’s new in-house personalized services to residents. The Altamount Road project, a property that was bought by the company from the US consulate for 350 crore three years ago, is the first in this series of luxury projects.

“Sales are slow in south Mumbai, and deals are taking longer to close as buyers are taking longer to take decisions," said Mudassir Zaidi, national director, residential, Knight Frank India, a property consultant.

In south Mumbai, areas such as Carmichael Road, Altamount Road and Malabar Hill command the highest premium in terms of prices, followed by Nepeansea Road, Warden Road and then Peddar Road and Hughes Road.

In September, Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla emerged as the highest bidder to buy an iconic bungalow in south Mumbai’s Malabar Hill for 425 crore in one of the costliest residential deals in recent years. In another big-ticket transaction in the same month, Lincoln House, a property on Breach Candy was bought by Cyrus Poonawalla, the billionaire chairman of Serum Institute of India Ltd, for 750 crore. Both of them are said to have bought the properties for personal use.

“The deals have happened at a fair price for the buyers, but possibly a tad lower than what such standalone properties would have commanded in better times. Lodha’s apartment transaction has happened at a premium to other ongoing apartment projects and those on resale, but the developer was hoping for an even higher price of above 1,50,000 a sq. ft," said a property consultant who didn’t wish to be named.

“While there is limited inventory in south Mumbai, most buyers who want to pick up either bungalows at iconic locations or sea-facing apartments want to use it themselves and not just for investment," said Ashwinder Raj Singh, chief executive officer (residential) at property advisory JLL India.

Singh said there has been a “time correction" in prices of homes in these locations, where prices have not increased in the last two years or so.

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