Harbour Properties Clear Winners in Ultra-Premium Housing Sector


Waterfront property has long attracted premium prices with properties that once sold around the $10-million mark now pushing even higher—but not all bodies of water are equal.

Properties on Sydney Harbour were the most sought after in the country and have increased in premium value by 114 per cent as of the September quarter 2021, according Knight Frank research.

The research found a third of the 374 super-prime residential sales in Australia during the past year were absolute waterfront properties.

Their popularity coincided with price uplifts—64 per cent of those super prime properties were on the harbour compared to 16 per cent on the coast, 13 per cent on canals and 7 per cent with river frontage.

Waterfront properties in Melbourne had the strongest price growth while Sydney had the biggest increase in sales, and the Perth and Gold Coast super prime markets grew faster than Brisbane.

Uplift in premium value by waterfront location


^Source: Knight Frank Research, annual uplift calculated at Q3 2021

Knight Frank head of residential research Michelle Ciesielski said waterfront real estate was by its nature tightly held, there was a finite amount of available land for such properties and it enjoyed steady demand year-on-year.

“We also know that one of the effects of the pandemic has been an increased focus on the importance of the home, with many wealthy and ultra-wealthy Australians inclined to deploy their capital onshore when they otherwise would have spent it overseas,” Ciesielski said.

“This likely reflects the increase in price premium attributed to waterfront properties in 2021—increasing by 14.4 per cent in the last year to represent a 79 per cent price premium on their inland equivalents.”

Sydney has cemented its high-end property market as one of the strongest in the world, chalking up a 10.7 per cent increase in values during the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, waterfront locations were considered the best places to invest due to population growth and rental yields which have increased drastically during the pandemic.

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