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Dreaming of a Home on the Water? It Now Costs 46 Percent More Than Living Inland

Sydney, London, Perth, and Dubai have some of the highest premiums.

Odeon Tower in Monaco Photo Credit: Courtesy Odeon Tower

From Turks and Caicos to Lake Como, waterfront properties have long been among the most desirable—and expensive—addresses in the world. According to the new Knight Frank Global Waterfront Monitor, which was compiled by valuations from the company’s global network, the average price for a waterfront property is 46 percent higher than a similar home inland without access to or views of water. But some waterfront locations cost much more: Last year, a report from Ross Milroy found that luxury condo buyers in Miami generally pay a 38 to 101 percent premium for ocean views. Premiums around the world vary greatly based on the location and associated amenities.

After classifying properties by specific characteristics and the exact location, researchers at Knight Frank found that properties located alongside a harbor generated the highest premium at 59 percent. Beachfront homes were just behind at 58 percent. Waterfront homes in Sydney commanded the highest global premium at a whopping 89.3 percent, with homeowners generally opting for views of the Harbour Bridge or Opera House. “From its iconic New Year celebrations to the starting point of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race on Australia Day, residents are treated to expansive views of one of the world’s best waterscapes,” says Michelle Ciesielski, director of research at Knight Frank. Sydney was followed by London (75 percent), Australia’s Gold Coast (64.1 percent), Perth (53.2 percent), and Dubai (50.7 percent).

“Waterfront properties are also among the most liquid,” the report states. “Even in a depressed market, due to their position and scarcity, a front-line waterfront property will face strong demand with prospective buyers aware that their future exit strategy is also secure.” The report found some correlation between the volume of water and the premium generated. On islands such as Hong Kong and Singapore, for example, the premium is smaller.

Though individuals from all across the globe searched for waterfront properties last year, prospective buyers from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and Australia led the pack.

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