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6.4.10 city once again seems to have broken a national record in property transactions, with a duplex in the prime Samudra Mahal building at Worli fetching in excess of Rs 36 crore in an auction on Monday.

Although people involved in the transaction flatly refused to comment, TOI has learnt through reliable market sources that the deal worked out to more than Rs 99,000 a sq ft. The last highest transaction recorded was at the NCPA Apartment at Nariman Point in 2007 when a flat measuring 3,475 sq ft (super built-up) was bought by a London-based NRI at a rate of Rs 97,842 a sq ft (Rs 34 crore).

The Samudra Mahal duplex is situated on the 19th and 20th floors of the 28-storey, sea-facing highrise. The high net worth individual who won the bid is the wife of a prominent banker who died sometime ago. The duplex belonged to ABN Amro bank and the deal was brokered by the London-headquartered real estate adviser, DTZ. The duplex is spread over a built-up area of 3,640 sq ft and has four bedrooms and two covered car parks. The building has a swimming pool, a children's play area and a small football field.

Samudra Mahal is one of the most sought-after residential buildings in the city. One of the occupants of this building is the Scindias (family of the late Madhavrao Scindia). Industrialist Nusli Wadia once owned a triplex spread over 8,000 sq ft here. Four years ago, the Wadias sold it in excess of Rs 31 crore.

One of the losing bidders, representing a client at Monday's auction, said they walked out once they learnt that the bidding started at Rs 32 crore. "We had a budget of only Rs 25 crore," he said.

Pranay Vakil, chairman of Knight Frank (India), said the Samudra Mahal transaction was "not representative of the residential market, including the high-end luxury segment". "It is a one-off sale. People are willing to pay a premium for ready flats rather than for those still under construction," he said.

In May 2008, actor Vinod Khanna and his wife bid Rs 1.20 lakh a sq ft or Rs 30 crore for a 2,500-sq-ft (carpet area) apartment in the Il Palazzo building on Little Gibbs Road, Malabar Hill. However, the deal fell through a couple of months later.

Last August, a sprawling apartment in Maker Tower B building at Cuffe Parade was sold at the rate of around Rs 93,000 per sq ft or Rs 28 crore.

The auction of the 3,640 sq ft apartment in Worli's Samudra Mahal beat the mega deal of an NCPA Apartment flat in 2007 at a rate of Rs 97,842 per sq ft.


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