As the first wave of coronavirus infections surged towards a record in July last year, forcing most Indians indoors, Sotheby’s International Realty brokered the sale of a bungalow worth more than Rs 100 crore in Kolkata. More than 3,700 square yards of luxurious living space designed for a single family.
“For the Kolkata market, the price tag of Rs 100 crore is a big number,” Amit Goyal, chief executive officer at the local property consulting unit of 277-year-old eponymous auction house, told BloombergQuint over the phone. “We have done maybe over a dozen transactions worth $10 million (Rs 73 crore) and above in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.”
The demand underscores a growing desire among India’s ultra-wealthy, professionals and startup founders to buy luxury farmhouses, bungalows, villas, penthouses, and plush apartments. According to Sotheby’s, dealing in properties with an average ticket size of more than $2.5 million (over Rs 15 crore), the nation’s super-rich are the fourth-largest buyers of luxury real estate after their peers in the U.S., China, and Germany.
Sotheby’s, having entered India’s luxury housing consulting market in 2014, typically facilitated 35-40 transactions every three months. But the first two quarters of FY21 were sluggish because of the pandemic. Then, things started improving as the economy reopened gradually.