waterfront sydney
Waterfront homes, such as in Sydney, continue to see their premiums rise significantly. Image – Canva.
  • The premium for living on the waterfront has grown exponentially
  • The increase on the absolute waterfront was caused by the opening of Crown Residences at One Barangaroo
  • Harbourside home values have jumped by 114%

As we enter the new year, Knight Frank released its latest Australian Waterfront Premium report.

The general sentiment was clear, and somewhat to be expected: Covid caused the coastal calling to climb continually.

Houses with waterfront views continue to add significant premiums to prices, with that premium only growing.

Broader market

The report found the number of prestige homes located on the absolute waterfront increased significantly, mostly thanks to the introduction of Crown Residences at One Barangaroo in Sydney.

Knight Frank found 32.9% of the 374 super-prime residential sales were located on the absolute waterfront, across Australia. The figure is close to the ten year average of 34%, Knight Frank said it “demonstrates the strength of the underlying expanding super-prime market.”

Volume of absolute waterfront sales

volume waterfront
Source: Knight Frank

Additionally, there was a significant uplift in value across all locations – most notably in harbourside locations.

Water frontage and features

A large majority of homes were on the harbour, coming in at 64%. The remainder was made up of homes on the coast (16%), the canal (13%), and river (7%).

Harbour homes figures lept from a year earlier, the figure around 48% of super-prime homes sold.

Uplift in value by waterfront location, as of Q3 2021

uplift in value
Source: Knight Frank.

Research also considered the facilities waterfront homes included, with the majority featuring a jetty (32%, the next most common facility was mooring (27%), followed by pontoon (17%) and slipway (4%).

City by city breakdown

City by city, Melbourne recorded the strongest growth (22%) of the five major Australian cities, from a 30% premium in Q3 2020 to 37% in Q3 2021.

Brisbane’s waterfront growth was 14%, with the waterfront premium now sitting at 54%.

Sydney recorded a 13.5% increase, however the premium overall is considerable: in 2020 the waterfront premium was 105%, now 119%.

The latest Gold Coast (5% growth yoy) premium for waterfront properties was reported to be 71%, and Perth (9.5% yoy) 67%.

How much more?

The premium by just adding water is substantial, and the premium continues to rise.

Knight Frank’s research found that prime waterfront properties were priced 79% higher, on average than the inland equivalent in 2021.

This figure is up 14.4% from 2020 which recorded a 69% premium on average.

The report put it down to the rather expected Covid reasons, and associated lockdown.



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