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Aralia, Magnolia flat prices soared before Vadra buys

Prices of flats in The Aralias project saw a 370% jump in just 22 months

N Sundaresha Subramanian  |  Mumbai 

The value of a flat in DLF’s The Aralias project in Gurgaon rose about four times in less than two years. Compared to an average price of Rs 2,548 per sq ft in November 2006, prices stood at Rs 12,000 per sq ft in September 2008, a 370 per cent jump in 22 months. Even during the boom years of 2007 and 2008, the jump was extraordinary, say analysts.

Last week, DLF said a flat in The Aralias was sold to Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, in September 2008, for Rs 11.9 crore. Considering the flat had an area of 10,000 sq ft, the sale price stood at about Rs 12,000 a sq ft, one of the highest rates paid, DLF said. “Mr Vadra’s purchase, at Rs 12,000 per sq ft, is among the highest prices at which the company sold apartments in The Aralias,” DLF said in a release on October 6, following allegations by social activist Arvind Kejriwal.

In its draft offer document dated January 2, 2007, filed with the Securities and Exchange Board of India, DLF said, “The Aralias project consists of 252 residential units with approximately 1.6 million sq ft of saleable area in 11 buildings of 15-17 floors each. The total area of the development is 9.8 acres, with apartment sizes ranging from 5,822 sq ft to 10,803 sq ft. All the apartments in The Aralias have already been sold.” In the document, DLF also said the apartments were sold at an average price of Rs 2,548 per sq ft as on November 30, 2006. This price, too, was the highest per-sq-ft price charged by DLF till that date. Other projects such as Westend Heights (Rs 2,243 per sq ft), Belvedere Park (Rs 2,086 per sq ft) and Windsor Court (Rs 2,030 per sq ft) were cheaper, according to the offer document.

“The Aralias is a luxury residential development located in close proximity to our 18-hole DLF Golf and Country Club. Owners are able to plan and design the layouts of their apartments. Each apartment benefits from amenities such as a car-calling (valet) system, car washing facilities, day-care and playschool facilities. The development also provides club house facilities, including a multipurpose room, a swimming pool and changing rooms, squash and tennis courts, a gymnasium, a convenience shop and centralised services,” the offer document said.

This was not the only initial public offering (IPO) document DLF had filed. In May 2006, it had filed a draft under the name DLF Universal. According to that statement, as on March 31, 2006, the sale price of The Aralias property was Rs 2,373 per sq ft. There was, therefore, a difference of about 10 per cent in the average unit price in a span of eight months —March 2006 and November 2006.

The controversial The Magnolias project, too, showed remarkable escalation in prices just before Vadra’s investment. In November 2006, the average sale price of The Magnolias property stood at Rs 5,898 per sq ft. By March 2008, the price rose 70 per cent.

DLF had stated, “Skylight group had invested in The Magnolias apartments at a price of Rs 10,000 per sq ft in March 2008. This was the prevalent offer price of the company for all its customers.”

GROWING TALL 
Project                 Sale price (Rs /Sqft)
1st Offer
document
2nd Offer 
document
Vadra
bought#
Current*
The Aralias  2,373 2,548 12,000 40,000
The Magnolias
 NA
5,898 10,000 15,000-30,000
# Vadra’s purchase price as per DLF’s October 6 release
* Current prices estimated as per prices given by Arvind Kejriwal

The IPO document describes The Magnolias project as “one of the first assignments for DLF Laing O’Rourke” The project consists of 402 residential units in five buildings of 19 floors each, covering approximately 2.5 million sq ft of saleable area. The total area of the development is 22.77 acres, with apartments ranging from 5,825 sq ft to 9,800 sq ft in size.”

Though Vadra had also bought flats in DLF’s Country Greens in Delhi, no details of this project were found in the IPO documents.

The DLF IPO hit bourses in June 2007, raising about Rs 9,600 crore. The company’s shares, sold for Rs 550 apiece in the IPO, hit a high of Rs 1,200 in January 2008, before recording a fall. on Thursday, they gained nearly four per cent, closing at Rs 221 on the BSE.

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First Published: Fri, October 12 2012. 00:02 IST
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