Mumbai’s New Luxury Housing Trends: Om Ahuja CEO – Residential Services, Jones Lang LaSalle India

om ahujaIn marked contrast to other cities, the dynamics of luxury housing in Mumbai have changed dramatically over the last decade. Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai continue to have location-specific premiums, which have risen consistently. Boat Club Road in Chennai, Jor Baug in Delhi and Ballygunge in Kolkata continue as the most premium areas of these cities, while Cuffe Parade, Marine Drive, Pedder Road and other premium locations in Mumbai have witnessed a slowdown in demand and price appreciation.

In Mumbai, with the CBD shifting to BKC for all practical purposes, even the most attractive parts of the city have not witnessed increased action in terms of sales, relative appreciation and leasing over the last 5-7 years.

With the CBD and even the Diamond Market moving to Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), there has been a dramatic shift of preferences for luxury housing in Mumbai. South Mumbai residents now show increasing preference for moving to complexes in Mahalaxmi and Jacob Circle, giving up the standalone buildings they have been occupying since security and parking have become a challenge.

The shift towards Worli reflects that a desire to be close to the Sea Link for faster access to BKC is another important market trend. The Bandra-Khar-Santacruz belt and specifically BKC have become the best options for corporate employees who wish to live closer to their workplaces. Diamond traders are also shifting to these areas and to Worli for the same reason.

The Media, Pharma, FMCG and SME sectors are the key residential property drivers in the Andheri-Malad-Goregaon-Powai belt. With HUL, P&G, Glenmark, Sun Pharma and many other larger names shifting their headquarters to the Andheri-Powai belt, we have seen a sudden increase in demand for premium and marquee properties in this market. The wish to reside closer to the airports, highways and Metro stations are the key drivers for this preference.

Denizens of the media world (i.e. television and film artist) prefer living in the Andheri-Malad-Goregaon belt, as these areas are closer to the major studios. With the sudden increase of channels and programs over the last 5-7 years, there is now an unprecedented demand for good premium and marquee properties in this belt.

South Mumbai properties that have perennial demand:

Building Name Location Reason Indicative Price Points in the Re-sale space
1 Samudra Mahal Worli Sea Facing/Profile of Occupants Starting from Rs.1 Lac per square feet
2 Kalpataru Horizon Worli Sea Facing/Profile of Occupants Starting from Rs. 70,000 per square feet
3 Godrej Bayview Worli Sea Facing/Profile of Occupants Starting from Rs.75,000 per square feet
4 Raheja Vivarea Mahalaxmi Race Course /Sea Facing / Profile of Occupants Starting from Rs.60,000 per square feet
5 Jolly Maker Chambers (Cluster) Cuffe Parade Sea Facing / Profile of Occupants Starting from Rs.65,000 per square feet
6 Signature Island BKC Only Luxury Project inside G Block of BKC & Profile of Occupants Starting from Rs.55,000 per square feet
7 Oberoi Woods Lokhandwala Preferred by Media world Starting from Rs.25,000 per square feet

Mumbai’s New Alternate Luxury Locations

A family living in South Mumbai that wants to upgrade from a 2 BHK to 3 BHK or 4 BHK usually operates with a limited additional budget after selling its existing home. After a prolonged stint in South Mumbai, very few locations provide comparable appeal – or, indeed, comparable options.

Such families will consider options in Mahalaxmi, Parel, Lower Parel and Worli, and tend to be open to locations such as Mazgaon and Byculla as secondary options. The additional investment for exploring these alternatives is usually between Rs. 2-4 crore. Reputed developers like K Raheja Corp., Kalpataru and Runwal have luxury projects in these areas and are actively catering to the demand coming from erstwhile residents of South Mumbai.

South Mumbai residents who cannot stretch their budget to accommodate their new space requirement are looking at Wadala as alternate option. With the arrival of the Eastern Freeway and the Monorail, Wadala has in fact become a hot destination for South Mumbai residents whose children study in Cathedral, G D Somani Memorial and other reputed schools. Currently, Dosti Group’s projects are clear leaders in this location, thanks to the superior social infrastructure they provide.

In the CBD area, the BKC belt has surprised most market pundits over the last decade. With the robust development in this prime location of Mumbai, many families from South Mumbai have been able to move into luxury projects there with just marginal budget additions. In the process, they have gained the advantages of additional bedrooms as well as significantly enhanced luxury living experience. The BKC luxury residential market is being serviced by developers like Sunteck, Kalpataru and Hubtown.

‘Affordable Luxury’ Locations

In a city like Mumbai, the concepts of luxury and affordability tend to be mutually exclusive concepts. Given the ever-escalating shortage of land in the city, coupled with the skyrocketing cost of construction, property price increases and multiple new taxes introduced in the last budget have conspired to push up the consumer cost of buying homes.

The new trend ‘affordable luxury’ does address the traditional clientele for luxury homes in Mumbai, but applies to local residents of suburban and far-suburban areas who are seeking to upgrade their lifestyles within their current localities. Developers who cater to the demand for affordable luxury are constrained upon to ensure that their offerings meet the actual requirements as well as affordability of these buyers, as well as the interest of investors who are seeking to capitalize on the trend of ‘localized upgradation’.

Currently most suburbs have multiple choices in this category. A few areas that rank high on factors such as overall living standards and growth are:

  • Airoli
  • Ghodbunder Road in Thane
  • Goregaon
  • Malad
  • Kanjurmarg
  • Vikhroli
  • Bhandup

Reputed developers that are successfully catering to this segment include Dosti Realty, Romell Group, Godrej, Omkar, Soham Group and Kalpataru.