In 2019, a savvy businessman will take possession of a $25 million apartment overlooking Southbank in Melbourne, making it the most expensive apartment in Australia at the time of purchase.  Yet, to be completed, the luxurious 800 sqm penthouse will boast a spectacular three-storey staircase, glass lift and private rooftop courtyard.

When thinking of record breaking prices, one’s thoughts generally turn to Sydney, so it comes as some surprise to find Melbourne as carrying the honour, however temporarily.  So, where does the appeal lay and what features and attractions propel price tags into the stratospheric mega million dollar realms?

Panoramic scenery

Whether Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or along Queensland’s stunning coastline, buyers will always pay a premium for breathtaking views.  Penthouse apartments display their views with walls of glass and luxurious automated floor to ceiling sheer curtains which filter, but do not obscure, the panoramic views yet can disappear at the touch of a button.

Premium water and ocean views always feature heavily on the elite buyer’s wishlist as with a recent West Australian contender.  Overlooking prestigious Claisebrook Cove in Perth, the apartment was vying for a record breaking sale price with its six king-sized bedrooms, eight bathrooms and three kitchens.

To highlight the importance of views, let’s take a look at some of the recent heavy price tag apartments and their positioning.

The Australia 108 penthouse mentioned previously will boast 360 degree views of Melbourne – from the 98th floor to the 100th.

The Pacific Bondi Beach penthouse, which recently sold for $21 million has 40 metre frontage on the famous Bondi Beach.

A proposed $100 million penthouse on Sydney Harbour is expected to smash all records; enjoying prime views over Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House – arguably the most spectacular piece of real estate in the world.  Just imagine New Years Eve!

Prime positioning

Whilst extraordinary views may be a strong influence on pricing, strategic positioning must be considered of equal importance.  The majority of buyers in this price bracket will be time poor and generally own homes in a number of other cities.  This means that they will seek strategically located properties with easy access to:

  • Major roads
  • Helipads
  • Business district
  • Proximity to airports
  • World class dining and shopping precincts

Points of difference

The buyers of these apartments are obviously in a position to buy a mansion anywhere in the world so whilst exceptional proportions are a given, it appears not to be the main trigger which is driving these phenomenal sale prices.  It can be reasonably assumed that the security, privacy and elitism penthouse living offers over landed property, is a major driving factor for many buyers.

As with the aforementioned Southbank apartment, buyers are seeking the ‘wow’ factor in overdrive. Glass lifts, private rooftop swimming pools, innovative technology and connectivity and the epitome of comfort with private dressing rooms, wine stores and sumptuous fittings.  These exclusive and elusive inclusions are part of the appeal driving the astronomical price tags being attained by these apartments.

While there are some common factors which Australia’s most expensive apartments possess, it’s all about perspective.  Compare these with the most expensive apartment in the world located in Monaco, with a cool $400 million dollar price tag.  This extravagant apartment boasting five storeys connected by waterslides, plus two pools and a disco – can make many of Australia’s offerings seem quite the bargain (and arguably far more tasteful).

So, what is the future for apartment prices in this echelon?  Like beachfront, there is only so much prime land surrounding the most sought after landmarks and optimally located waterfront.  With this in mind it can be assumed that prices will always be heading north as the rich get richer and the arm wrestle for prime position living becomes hotter.

Rebecca Williams

Rebecca is a writer living in Melbourne with expertise in creating witty, insightful and engaging content detailing everything from sheer curtains to Bolivian philosophy. Her articles have been published widely and she is a prolific contributor on social media platforms.​

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