List of posh localities in city expands but traditional bigwigs like Boat Club and Poes Garden continue to remain on top

There are new entrants into an old stronghold. The list of the most expensive places in the city has now expanded to include new localities, some of them a trifle surprising. While traditional bigwigs Boat Club and Poes Garden have not been dethroned — they are still where the crème de la crème live — more neighbourhoods have tuned into elite enclaves.

Prices shoot up

In Boat Club, a 2, 000 sq. ft apartment would cost a minimum of between Rs. 4 and Rs. 4.5 crore. While this is expected, what is interesting is that pockets of Alwarpet, Raja Annamalaipuram, Thiruvanmiyur, Anna Nagar and Kilpauk are also almost there. A similar-sized luxury apartment in Anna Nagar East, which would have cost only Rs. 70 lakh five years ago, now costs Rs. 2.5 crore.

A new, three-bedroom apartment in Landons Road, Kilpauk also costs about Rs. 3 crore. The price per sq. ft. of apartments here ranges between Rs. 12,000-14,000.

“When up and coming families in Sowcarpet want to invest in a luxury apartment, they prefer Landons Road in Kilpauk owing to its proximity to Purasaiwalkam. As far as Anna Nagar East is concerned, people think it is the perfect choice for a residential area,” said C. Sridhar Varadaraj, Vice President of Hanu Reddy Realty.

Shanti Colony too comes quite close in this race, with prices ranging between Rs.11, 000-13,000 per sq. ft. Brokers explain that this area too was expensive, but a mild depreciation has resulted due to the on-going metro rail construction. But they are confident that the prices will rise again soon.

Alwarpet and Raja Annamalaipuram, apart from being close to the Boat Club, are also self-contained primary residential areas. An apartment here costs about Rs. 4 crore. In Nungambakkam, a premium apartment would cost Rs. 2.5 crore.

100 % increase

Over the last five years, the city has witnessed price rises of close to a hundred per cent price when it comes to luxury apartments in prime areas, some brokers of reputed real estate firms said. “Mostly, people working in corporates who earn around Rs. 1 crore per annum are the buyers of these apartments. But there is a slight shift in buyers' profiles as well, with CEOs, High Net-worth Individuals (HNI) and Non-resident Indians (NRI) increasingly preferring these areas. Owning such an apartment is now becoming a status symbol for them,” said A Shankar, Senior Vice President of Jones Lang Lasalle, a real estate services firm.

The escalating prices have been consistently accompanied by an increasing demand for luxury apartments within the city. However, the system is plagued by a shortage in the supply of such apartments.

Experts attribute this to two reasons. First, builders are hesitant to invest in premium apartments since the time it takes to get statutory clearances from the government is at least six months by which time, the land value inflates exorbitantly. Second, the affluent demand customisation of apartments. “Buyers of these apartments are not happy with the standardisation of the property plan. They want customisation of their houses as they pay a whole lot money. But this is not usually financially viable for builders,” said P. Inbarajan, Associate Vice President of 99Acres.com.

In the end, it comes down to this: for a high-end area, the minimum price is Rs. 3 crore. If this is outside your price range, other parts of the city are available.

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