Sky-high demand for luxury capital city apartments

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Perth wins the title for the city with the most expensive apartment, with an East Perth penthouse adorning the Swan River on the market for $27.5 million. The situation is radically different across the border in Adelaide where a tiny (at least by Sydney standards) $3.8m is required for a lovely apartment overlooking the city’s Victoria Park in a yet-to-be-built complex. In Sydney, AMP’s Loftus Lane development at Circular Quay will probably grab the title of most expensive apartment, but the agents are yet to verify just how many millions will be required to buy into the lavish complex.


There’s much debate about Sydney’s most expensive apartment.

If Hollywood star Russell Crowe had not taken his $27m Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf apartment off the market over Christmas the award would have gone to him. And if low-key developer John Boyd decided to sell his three-level penthouse, complete with its own rooftop pool, cabana lounge and 360-degree views of the city perched atop Sydney’s ANZ Tower and valued at a predicted $60m, it would have been him.

Sydney’s most expensive upcoming apartments will be those in the Barangaroo tower, Dalian Wanda’s four penthouses in Gold Fields House at Circular Quay and AMP’s Loftus Lane project, which is part of its $2 billion Quay Quarter Sydney ­development.

Agent CBRE says prices are yet to be set. Nearby CBRE recently smashed Sydney records with a $27m penthouse sale to the Salteri family at the 20-level Opera Residences. A similar apartment on a lower floor sold for $26m. Of those apartments actually built about $14m is expected for a lavish three-bedroom apartment in Market Street above the Swissotel through McGrath agent Craig Donohue. The vendor is the entrepreneur Warbrick family according to public records.

Lisa Allen


The West Australian capital is home to some of the country’s most luxurious mansions so it’s no surprise it also sports Australia’s most expensive apartment.

The prize is a stunning East Perth penthouse on the edge of the Swan River. Property developer Ian Johnson has had it on the market for $27.5m for almost a year, fielding global interest.

He and his wife live in the home atop the boutique Mardalup complex completed in 2014. The two-storey unit is larger than most houses with 1900sq m of internal space, six kingsize bedrooms, eight bathrooms and three kitchens. Agent Ray White’s Brent Compton calls the apartment a “one-off” both for its riverside location and relative value. “If this was in Sydney or Melbourne you would put a $60m price tag on it and you’d get it.” To sweeten the deal, the Johnson family is offering to sell with it the $1m worth of art that hangs on its walls.

Ben Wilmot


Brisbane’s most expensive advertised apartment is a $6.5m penthouse in the proposed riverfront 443 Queen Street tower, to be developed by Cbus. The 398sq m four-bedroom, five-bathroom unit looks out over the river in the WOHA and Architectus-designed “tropical” skyscraper, complete with full-sized tree plantings up the high-rise and cross-ventilation within the apartments.

New top-end apartments continue to trade well despite alarm bells about the general unit market. Sunland’s luxury $240m high-rise Abian is due for completion by June with resales before settlement recording price growth of 20 per cent.

One of Brisbane’s elite apartment complexes is the Mirvac-built Pier development lining a quiet reach of the city’s river in Newstead. Home to the city’s captains of business and law, it ­features multi-million-dollar apartments, including the city’s apartment record price of $14.25m.

One three-bedroom unit is for sale, for $3m. LJ Hooker agent Brett Greensill says a separate apartment sold late last year for $5.662m, with two others in the $3m to $4m range.

“It is Mirvac’s flagship building where all the apartments are at penthouse standard,” he says.

In the adjoining riverside suburb of Teneriffe, prominent jeweller Margot McKinney is selling the historic stand-alone property, originally a sugar refinery office, adjacent to the overhauled heritage warehouses. The dwelling stands on 593sq m with garden and access to the riverfront for offers in the mid-$5m.

Rosanne Barrett


As families become more concerned about security, the privacy afforded by luxury apartments is increasingly a selling point.

Residents of the sub-penthouse of the Prima Pearl building in Southbank, across the river from the Melbourne CBD, can lock up and leave without worrying as they might if they lived in a detached house, says selling agent Nicole Gleeson of Kay & Burton.

The new home is on the market with price expectations of $18m. Owners of the apartment and neighbouring residences of the tower’s upper floors have access to a private top-level lounge, including a gym, pool, movie theatre and outdoor entertaining space.

The building also features a 24-hour concierge. “Security is a very big thing for people these days,” Gleeson says, adding that ease of maintenance was also a drawcard for families looking to downsize. The property has 4.2m-high ceilings, automated lighting settings, self-contained guest quarters, four ensuite bedrooms and five car spaces.

Elizabeth Redman


The penthouse balcony atop 81 Macquarie Street, Hobart, provides a front-row seat to the illustrious finish of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and is arguably one of the thriving city’s best spots.

“It’s the place to be on New Year’s Eve with the festivities happening on the waterfront,” Charlotte Peterswald for Property director Kim Morgan says.

“There’s 178sq m of outdoor terracing and better than 180-degree views stretching from Queens Domain to Opossum Bay.”

One block from Constitution Dock and Sullivan’s Cove, the two-level 428sq m penthouse was bought by the current owner from the developer in 2004. Originally a sub-penthouse and penthouse, it was combined into a single six-bedroom apartment with house-like proportions and has been listed for sale with expectations of more than $4m.

Overlooking the heritage-listed Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, the penthouse is one of only seven apartments in the tightly held block. Its residents are a mix of high-net-worth investors and owner occupiers, its location and exclusivity making it one of Hobart’s most highly-prized addresses.

Refurbished just over a year ago the penthouse has a contemporary open-plan design, floor-to-ceiling double-glazed windows, a full bar, home theatre and private gym. There are multiple bathrooms and luxury extras such as fully-ducted heating and airconditioning.

Michelle Singer


Adelaide’s downsizers are flocking to the city’s most expensive apartment block, 250 East Terrace. Selling agent Michael Brock of Harcourts Brock Estates says nine of the 14 luxury apartments have sold. The most expensive apartment left on the market is available for $3.8m following the $4m recent sale of the apartment above.

For their money buyers score a 360sq m living area and 60sq m balcony with three undercover car parks fronting Victoria Park. The apartment has capacity for four bedrooms, a study and three bathrooms, but the configuration is flexible.

Lisa Allen

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