NCPA Apartments. Image courtesy: BCCL
A flat in the NCPA Apartments at Nariman Point sold for Rs 29.50 crore on May 16. Flat no 34, which has four bedrooms and a super built-up area of 3,475 sq ft, was sold by Ambuja Cements to RAAS Residence Mumbai Ltd at the rate of Rs 85,000 a sq ft. The flat is located on the third-floor of the sea-facing tower.
It is not a record-breaking transaction but property trackers said the deal took place at a time when the real estate market is virtually dead in the city.
In November 2007, when the market was booming, a four-bedroom flat at NCPA fetched Rs 97,842 per sq ft, which is Rs 34 crore. The seventh floor (No 74) pad was sold by Citibank to the highest bidder, a UK-based NRI, who bought the apartment in the name of Record Investments and Leasing Pvt Ltd. Citibank had bought the flat for Rs 2 crore in the early 1990s.
RAAS Residence Mumbai Ltd is believed to have paid Rs 1.69 crore as stamp duty. However, 50 per cent of the sale amount will be shared equally by the Mumbai collector and the NCPA. It works out to a substantial Rs 13.78 crore. "When permission was given to the promoters of the residential building in the 1980s, the government had put in a condition that half the sales proceeds of a flat would be shared equally between the collector and the NCPA. The seller receives 50 per cent of the sale profit while the collector and NCPA are entitled to 25 per cent each,'' said sources.
In the early 1990s when the building was completed, the original buyer of Flat no 34 had paid Rs 1.94 crore. The latest deal in NCPA is one of the very few which have been recorded at the market price.
In January last, a similar size apartment in the building was shown to be sold for just Rs 5.9 crore. This is because the seller based the price on the state government's ready reckoner rate, which is way below the market price of the flat.
It is alleged that many sale transactions in this building are not registered because of the 50 per cent clause. "In the past decade, 13 apartment transfers were recorded and most of them were shown to be based on the ready reckoner rates,'' said a property market source. Three years ago, the then city collector IA Kundan initiated an inquiry to find out whether the NCPA housing society was short-changing the government of revenue by not reporting the sale of flats that have taken place over the past decade. The land on which the 22-storey NCPA Apartments stands belongs to the collector.
"The modus operandi is to show these flats as company owned. So, one company will be shown taking over another company along with its assets and liabilities. This way, there is no actual transaction of the flat and hence such sales are never reported to the collector, who has lost out on revenue,'' Kundan had told TOI. The society then wrote back and gave a list of all the apartment transfers that had taken place over the past decade.
Written by: Nauzer K Bharucha
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