Waterfront homes fetch higher premiums than inland properties: Knight Frank

Property seekers worldwide are raring for harbourside residences the most, especially in non-island locations

Viral sensation Zetian Zhang lived in this tri-level, four-bedroom unit atop the Stamford Residences in Sydney, with views of Harbour Bridge, across to Barangaroo and James Packer’s Crown Casino project. Image credit: Ray White Residential Sydney CBD

Addresses by the water are still among the most desirable in the world, according to results of the new Global Waterfront Report by Knight Frank.

Prime waterfront residential properties generate 40 percent higher prices on average than comparable units inland, the report stated.

“Waterfront properties are amongst the most liquid,” said Knight Frank global head of research Liam Bailey. “Even in a depressed market, due to their position and scarcity, a frontline waterfront property will face strong demand with prospective buyers aware that their future exit strategy will also be assured.”

Premiums are highest for properties along the harbour at 59.1 percent on average. Beachfront homes command a premium of 58.5 percent, followed by those along the riverside (36.8 percent) and lakeside (32.7 percent).

Such properties are less in demand in places surrounded by or teeming with water. “Where water is in abundance – island properties such as Hong Kong and Singapore – the premium is smaller,” the report said.

As of the third quarter of 2018, the premium for prime waterfront homes in Singapore stand at just 7.7 percent, while those in Hong Kong command 39.9 percent. “Singapore registers the lowest premium and here our research confirms that sea views command a higher premium than river views,” analysts stated.

Australian cities dominated the ranking, led by Sydney where the hunt for views of the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House has resulted in a staggering premium of 89.3 percent for prime waterfront properties.

“From its iconic New Year celebrations to the starting point of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race on Boxing Day, residents are treated to expansive views of one of the world’s best waterscapes,” said Michelle Ciesielski, Knight Frank’s director of research.

Gold Coast has the second highest premium globally for waterfront residences at 64.1 percent, with Perth in third at 53.2 percent. Dubai ranks fourth with a premium of 50.7 percent, while Paris is fifth at 48 percent.

Buyers from the UK tend to seek waterfront properties the most, followed by those from the US, Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Spain and Italy, in that order.