Sydney’s penthouse prices significantly below those of international cities: McGrath

The price on this penthouse on Sydney’s Elizabeth Street is sure to elicit a gasp. At $15 million, it’s a three-storey giant covering 498 metres and overlooking Hyde Park.

Soon-to-be-completed, the four-bedroom, six-bathroom penthouse in development ‘Eliza’, at 141-143 Elizabeth Street (pictured above and below), is looking at a $30,000 per square metre cost. Quite a sum.


Said to be as ‘good as it gets’ in Sydney, by Irene Lau from Savills, an Asian market specialist, it has the lower two levels for living, dining and sleeping, with a rooftop level for entertaining.

It has a landscaped terrace, outdoor kitchen and transparent infinity-edge pool so you can see the views while you swim. Presumably not one for those with vertigo.

Meanwhile, Nigel Napoli, director of residential project marketing for Savills, said that this is also a good investment to make.

“Properties such as this tend to appreciate in value more quickly than average because of their scarcity,” he said.

“They have an obvious ‘wow’ factor, but just as important is the overall quality of the building, its finishes and recreational features. ‘Eliza’ is destined to become one of Sydney’s ‘blue chip’ buildings.”

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With completion expected in March, there are also three ‘entire-floor’ four-bedroom apartments available currently. The Tony Owen-designed development (pictured above) features 19 apartments across 17 storeys, each with floor-to-ceiling windows and fireplaces.

Despite the eye-watering price tag, McGrath Estate Agents’ research notes that the cost of these types of penthouses in Sydney is actually far less than those in other ‘leading international cities’.


New York

A $137,000 per square metre sale, and a record for the city, has been pointed to. At US$88 million and 626 square metres, Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev snapped up this penthouse (picture below). It was previously the home to Sanford Weill, former chairman and chief executive of Citigroup.

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It is on the 20th floor of Fifteen Central Park West.

Property Observer isn’t quite sure this is directly comparable to Eliza, particularly as the building includes an in-house chef, climate controlled wine rooms, and other unusual features such as an anemometer on the roof to measure the wind speed so that terrace awnings can be retracted when necessary. It also has moisture sensors to detect leaks, temperature sensors on the pipes, and all manner of bells and whistles.



A three-bedroom penthouse in pre-war La Belle Epoque was purchased on lease for 97 years.


The buyer was rumoured to be an Arab sheik, and the sale was for €240 million over 1,626 square metres, or A$209,000 per square metre. This is a world record.

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Penthouses in central London usually receive a 60% premium per square metre above apartments in the same complex.


Record prices


Sale price (approx.)

Per square metre


A$340 million


New York

A$86 million



A$304 million


Hong Kong

A$58 million



A$36 million



A$26 million


Source: McGrath

However, despite its lavishness, Eliza isn't necessarily slated to beat any records like these penthouses.

Sydney's 1 Macquarie Street, which in 2010 was asking for $30 million, on 715 square metres, is a penthouse that's closer to the record mark. 

CPM Realty's Sam Elbanna told Property Observer that despite Sydney being an 'international' city, the penthouses tend to be smaller than those seen in cities such as New York. However, it isn't the size that sets them apart, but the views - such as those of the Sydney Opera House or the Harbour Bridge.


"As Sydney becomes even more ‘international’, particularly with its ever growing popularity in Asia, it won’t be long before Sydney penthouses become larger and the prices achieved will rival other major cities. Effectively demand for amazing apartments will increase therefore driving up the prices," he said.

{module Are Sydney's penthouse prices reasonable compared to global prices?}

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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