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Almost alike! - 8th March, 2008. Times Property (Times of India)

There is very little difference in rental values between properties in north and south Mumbai.

Mumbai city abode seekers have stretched themselves across the coastal line in the west and the suburb is now beyond (North) Malad/Kandivali in the western region. In the residential segment, preference has always been given to the West over East; since the East has been the commercial activity zone and falls almost in the centre of the city with no view to boast of.

The most expensive and sought after locations have been coastal or seaside properties. Starting from Colaba tip to Malad/Marve where there are sea-facing or sea view apartments, folks living in Mumbai have been able to find their dream home along the stretch if their pockets permitted. While most properties in South Mumbai were built in the 70’s and 80’s or before, like on the Marine Drive, the concept of ‘Super Built Up’ was non-existent. Even today one buys and sells there on the area mentioned in the ‘agreement’ which is the carpet area.

The point I am trying to make is that prices have soared across the city if compared on a ‘Carpet to Carpet’ calculation. Between a Cuffe Parade and Juhu or a Nepeansea Road and Bandra (Bandstand/Carter Road) property; the northern locations will be lower by only 20 to 30 odd percent. While we do this comparative study one has to bear in mind you can only compare an apple with an apple, wherein for Mumbai it would have to be compared with a lot more than just that logic.

What is more ironic is that there is very little difference in the ‘rental values’ between properties in South and North. To be more specific, South would cover properties from Colaba to Worli and not from Bandra to Juhu. Some properties, more specifically in Bandra, have rental values that are higher than Malabar Hill or a property in NCPA. Simply because the construction is all new, they are extremely well planned keeping in mind lifestyle and luxury are prerequisites for the discerning few.

A premium property in Bandra with a 4 Bedroom layout would sprawl over 5000 sq.ft. of carpet area, offering a large living area with a terrace, two dining rooms (formal/informal family dining), a family den (sitting)’ a well equipped large almost enviable kitchen and maid room facilities – all of international qualities. More such properties have well equipped gym and swimming pool facilities, making it a complete lifestyle destination for most families. All this is available for a price tag of minimum Rs 8 lakh a month and upwards.
Similar sea-touching properties are most sought out at Juhu because this is the only location that offers an unobstructed sand and sea view. Except for a few properties at Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Nepaensea Road and Breach Candy, which can boast of the same, the rest of the city be it Marine Drive, Worli seaface , Bandstand/ Carter Road- they all have a road between the properties and the sea.

Juhu today is one the ‘hottest’ location in the city with maximum demand for sea facing properties both in the buying and renting arenas. From adults to kids, including my son ‘Abir’, who is only eight years old, has his dream home set to be a sea facing home in Juhu.

I have enjoyed studying trends and patterns that get set in the property market and it is almost easy to predict that the next location of desire will be ‘versova’ and if the Marve sea link to Versova is done than Malad/Marve are all set to boom further in both rental and buying segments.

All said, it seems in times to come, the difference in prices of South and North Mumbai will be marginal. I predict that the Bandra to Juhu stretch, especially Bandra property prices, will surpass the best of South Mumbai property rates in the next five years. So brace yourselves, as the city that never sleeps may not see these ‘hot’ locations on a snooze mode for very long.