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No watering down of waterfront prices | Ralph Lauren

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Prime waterfront properties in Perth garnered a massive 61 per cent price premium when compared to their inland counterparts in the year to the September quarter 2020, with the average sale price sitting pretty at $13.4 million, according to the latest research from Knight Frank.

This represented a 7.5 per cent growth spurt from a premium of 53.6 per cent at the beginning of 2020 – the steepest uplift in the country.

Prime waterfront properties across Australia were worth an average 69 per cent more than those inland over the 2020 period, trending upwards from 63.1 per cent in 2019.

The Knight Frank definition of an absolute waterfront property is one without a road or park reserve in between the home and the body of water.

Knight Frank’s Prime Waterfront Index found harbour-front properties nationally commanded the highest premium and the strongest growth in premium, at 102 per cent in the September quarter 2020, growing from 97.3 per cent one year earlier.

Over the same time, homes with coastal frontage rose from 61.4 per cent to 71 per cent, riverfront rose from 57.4 per cent to 61.1 per cent and, improving considerably, canal frontage grew from 49.8 per cent to 55.6 per cent.

For Ray White Cottesloe Mosman Park Director Jody Fewster, the price premium came as no surprise.

Operating in the high-end Dalkeith market where some properties bank onto the Swan River, Ms Fewster said it was a simple supply and demand situation.

“Because of the topography of Perth in particular there are just not that many waterfront properties,” she said.

“We expect and do get a premium just because there is a limited supply. If you want that view you have to pay for it. They don’t turn over very often and there are very few of them.”

Ms Fewster used the example of a property she sold for $14 million on Victoria Avenue in Dalkeith in early 2020 as an example.

“There were five offers on that property, so four people wanted to live on the river who missed out just on that one property,” she said.

“As an agent I have a list of buyers ready, willing and able to buy a riverfront property when they come up.

“I have worked with some buyers for three or four years just to get the right property. It is a choice to move to the river; it is a desire not a need.

“No more than half a dozen a year come to market.”

Ms Fewster said besides a lack of supply, the main reason these waterfront properties didn’t go to market was simple – where do you go from there?

“We all aspire to move closer and closer, and once you get the exclusive view, the only reason these properties turn over is generational change and people wanting to downsize,” she said.

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