Prime waterfront homes generate average premium of 40% globally

18 December 2018

Prices for prime waterfront properties are on average 40% higher than comparable properties inland, according to the new Knight Frank Global Waterfront Monitori in the leading independent property consultancy’s latest publication Global Waterfront Report 2019.

The top five cities in the Knight Frank Global Waterfront Monitor are dominated by Australia, with Sydney (89.3%) followed in the ranks by the Gold Coast (64.1%), Perth (53.2%), Dubai (50.7%) and Paris (48%).

According to Liam Bailey, Knight Frank’s Partner, Global Head of Research waterfront addresses are amongst the most desirable in the world, however not all prime waterfront properties are equal and the premiums vary depending on location and amenity.

“Our Global Waterfront Report 2019 found that being located alongside a harbour generates the highest premium of 59.1%. This is closely followed by beachfront homes which command an average uplift of 58.5%, with Sydney and the Gold Coast registering some of the highest uplifts for beachfront properties. River and lakeside residences are on average 36.8% and 32.7% higher, respectively.”

Prime waterfront residences in Sydney experience the largest uplift globally, according to Sarah Harding, Partner, Head of Residential, Australia. 

“Sydney sits in first place with waterfront properties generating an average premium of 89.3% (as at Q3 2018), when compared to similar properties located further inland without access to water. Homeowners vie for the finest views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House as it offers sprawling vistas of, and access to, one of the world’s best waterscapes.”

Knight Frank’s Erin van Tuil, Partner, Crown Residences at One Barangaroo said, “Developments such as the Crown Residences at One Barangaroo are creating a new benchmark for waterfront properties in Sydney and around the world. Each of the 82 six-star hotel-branded residences will provide expansive dual or triple aspect views over Sydney Harbour, from its iconic New Year celebrations to the starting point of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race on Boxing Day, making it one of Australia’s most prestigious residential addresses.”

According to Ms Harding prospective buyers from all over the world search for waterfront properties, although there is particularly strong interest from the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

“Outside of the lifestyle and additional amenities a waterfront home provides, such as private moorings or jetties and easy access to numerous water sports, they are also an attractive opportunity for buyers as they are amongst the most liquid of properties. 

“Even during a market downturn we see frontline waterfront properties remain in demand due to their position and scarcity. This sees them retain their value and also provide potential buyers with additional confidence in their future exit strategy should they need to sell.” 

Mr Bailey said, “New-build beachfront properties are in high demand in both Perth and Dubai as developments, such as the Palm Jumeriah in Dubai, provide prospective buyers with the opportunity to access the lifestyle and amenities waterfront properties are renowned for.

“In Paris new-build opportunities are scarce so waterfront residences are typically older high-ceilinged Haussman homes along the Seine. This is similar in Berlin where limited space for new-builds is expected to contribute to the increase in the premium waterfront properties generate, which currently sits at 28%.”

Knight Frank Global Waterfront Monitor


Premium calculated as at Q3 2018



Gold Coast








Hong Kong


Lake Geneva












Source: Knight Frank Research


For further information, please contact:

Tammy Clinch, PR Executive, Australia +61 410 714 135 



Notes to Editors

Knight Frank LLP is the leading independent global property consultancy. Headquartered in London, Knight Frank has more than 18,000 people operating from 523 offices across 60 markets. The Group advises clients ranging from individual owners and buyers to major developers, investors and corporate tenants. For further information about the Company, please visit