What Your Money Buys You In Sydney’s Harbourside Eastern Suburbs

What Your Money Buys You In Sydney’s Harbourside Eastern Suburbs

We explore exactly what your money buys you in Sydney’s harbourside eastern suburbs – no matter how big or small your budget might be.

Sydney’s harbourside eastern suburbs are well known for being home to some of Australia’s most exclusive and expensive properties. But did you know there are actually some reasonably affordable homes in this part of the city too?

Whether you have $1 million dollars to spend on your next home or your budget extends to over $25 million, we show you what you can afford to buy in Sydney’s harbourside eastern suburbs.

What are Sydney’s harbourside eastern suburbs?

Sydney’s harbourside takes in more suburbs – and a lot more different property styles – than many people might immediately think of, encompassing inner city areas such as Elizabeth Bay, Rushcutters Bay and Darling Point before moving through Point Piper, Double Bay, Bellevue Hill, Rose Bay, Dover Heights, Vaucluse and on to Watsons Bay.

How far your money stretches

Given the diverse nature of these suburbs and the types of housing they offer, Sydney’s eastern harbourside suburbs probably offer the greatest range in pricing in all of
This beautiful part of the world is home to some of the highest, record-breaking prices in the country. And, as we discussed in a recent article, prestige properties in harbourside suburbs have been leading the market when it comes to price growth.

But you can also get the benefits of a harbourside address in a small apartment for under a million dollars.

Some harbourside suburbs are so coveted – and small – that properties don’t come onto the market too often. Take gorgeous Watsons Bay, for example. In the past 12 months, realestate.com.au has only registered the sale of one house and three apartments (at least on the public market). Meanwhile, just five houses and 17 apartments have sold in Point Piper over the past year.

This lack of stock and sales can make it difficult to gauge prices accurately. So we thought we’d share our insights to let you know how far your money goes in this part of the world.

Under $1.5 million

You can buy into a coveted harbourside address for less than Sydnye’s median dwelling price (currently $1,014,393, according to CoreLogic’s HVI). However, you will be limited to an apartment.

In Rushcutters Bay, the median price for a one-bedroom apartment is just $641,000, according to Domain. In Rose Bay, the median price for a one-bedroom apartment is $800,000, rising to $1.293 million for a two-bedroom apartment.

Despite being one of the city’s most expensive suburbs for houses, Vaucluse actually has many affordable apartments, with three-bedroom apartments selling for a median of $1.413 million. And, in Double Bay, the median two-bedroom apartment costs exactly $1.5 million.

Despite Sydney experiencing a relatively flat property market over the past year, many reasonably-priced apartments in Sydney’s eastern suburbs have seen strong capital growth. Elizabeth Bay apartment prices rose 7.4% in the 12 months to March 2023, so they now stand at $1.12 million. Rose Bay apartment values rose 5.9% over the same period.

Recent sales

4/26 Manion Avenue, Rose Bay. This fabulous two-bedroom, one-bathroom art deco apartment sold for $1,300,000 in March 2023.

$1.5m-$3m

At this price point, you should be able to afford a larger apartment in a range of harbourside suburbs. You may even be able to get ‘harbour glimpses’, although you may not always get the stellar harbour views these areas are synonymous with.

In Bellevue Hill, for instance, the median price for a three-bedroom apartment is $2.6 million, while in Rose Bay, the median for a three-bedroom apartment is $2.62 million.

$3m-$5m

At this price point, you should be able to entertain the idea of a free-standing home in many of Sydney’s harbourside eastern suburbs, although it could be entry-level and require some work – especially if you’re at the lower end of this bracket. Alternatively, you’ll be able to afford a very decent apartment.

The median price for a three-bedroom house in Rose Bay is $3.6 million. For just a fraction more ($3.7 million), you can also buy the median three-bedroom apartment a little closer to the city in Double Bay. In Darling Point, the median for three-bedroom apartments is $3.812 million.

If this seems comparatively high, remember that many three-bedroom harbourside apartments offer sweeping harbour views, as well as a touch of luxury.

Recent sales

94/66 Darling Point Road, Darling Point
This north-facing, secluded two-bedroom apartment with world-class harbour views sold for $3.35 million in March 2022.

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$5m-$10m

You really need to be buying in this bracket if you hope to afford a large family home in many parts of Sydney’s harbourside eastern suburbs. The median price for a four-bedroom house in Rose Bay sits at $5.675 million, and the median house price overall in Bellevue Hill is even higher at $7.825 million.

For between $5 million and $10 million, you’ll also be able to afford some of Sydney’s best harbourside apartments, including potentially some penthouses in Darling Point, Elizabeth Bay, and Point Piper.

Recent sales

3 Chamberlain Avenue, Rose Bay. This lavish four-bedroom family home on a 627 sqm block with designer gardens sold for $8.9 million in May 2021.

2 Sheldon Place, Bellevue Hill. This rare mid-century modern-era four-bedroom house sold for $9.1 million in August 2022.

$10m-$25m

While this price point exceeds the overall median of any of the harbourside suburbs, there are still specific property types that have median values over 10 million. According to Domain data, the median price for a five-bedroom house in Bellevue Hill is $10.1 million. In Vaucluse, the five-bedroom median house price is $10.835 million.

Recent sales

1/746 New South Head Road, Rose Bay
This oversized, house-like three-bedroom property with stunning views and a Will Dangar-designed garden sold for $13.5 million in April 2021.

6 Goomerah Crescent, Darling Point.
A four-bedroom tri-level home in a dress circle cul de sac, this amazing property sold for $16 million in May 2021.

Over $25 million

This is the territory where Australian property price records are set. It’s at $25 million that you begin to enter the ultra-prestige market – and it’s here that property values have been rising most rapidly over the past couple of decades.

Take this example: in 2002, an Australian property price record was set when Boomerang, in Elizabeth Bay sold for $20.7 million. Twenty years on this price wouldn’t necessarily raise eyebrows at all. By the end of 2022, Sydney’s property price record stood at around $130 million.

While we say this bracket starts at $25 million, we’re seeing strong sales in the $40 million to $50 million category and sales of $60 million or $70 million are becoming more common.

That’s because, as we pointed out recently, only a limited number of harbourside trophy homes can ever be built, but there is a growing number of people looking to buy in this category.

Recent sales

11 Collins Avenue, Rose Bay.
This perfectly located five-bedroom Espie Dodds-designed waterfront home has a 15-metre frontage onto Rose Bay beach and direct access to it. The property sold for $29 million in February 2022.

53-55 Cranbrook Road, Bellevue Hill.
This five-bedroom blue ribbon family estate on a massive 1,252 sqm sold for between $30 – $32 million in February 2022.

5 Collins Avenue, Rose Bay. This five-bedroom waterfront home sold for $35 million in May 2022, having changed hands for $18 million less than three years earlier.

Want more?

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Eastern Suburbs harbourside property market, get in touch.