Nothing beats the view from on high! Despite a slowing market, it’s still been a landmark year for Sydney penthouse sales.
AURA by Aqualand has recently released their Penthouse collection with four sub-penthouses already sold – the most recent for $7.25 million.
But what makes a penthouse standout? Which features do buyers most want to see and what’s in now that will still be in tomorrow, next year, or in five years?
I sat down with Aura’s interior designer Kirsten Stanisich, of Richards Stanisich, to gain some insight on what a penthouse buyer is looking for in today’s market and what trends are most likely to hold their value in the coming years.
Here are six Sydney penthouse features and trends that continue to tick the box for capital growth prospects.
Glorious views are first on the list
In Sydney, that means harbour, bridge, or Opera House views—choosing a penthouse with any of these is paramount to maintain value over time.
Location is always vital CBRE’s Ben Stewart says.
“Penthouses close to the CBD and within walking distance of lifestyle amenities like great cafés, bars, fine dining, and parks are high on the list for penthouse buyers right now,” he says.
While a property’s location is vital for retaining value for any purchase, buying a penthouse is as much about prestige.
Iconic architecture that stands out against the city skyline, combined with timeless interiors created by sought-after architects and designers, will win out over less salubrious developments when it comes to steady capital growth prospects.
“Overall, our clients are looking for beautiful high-quality interiors, an elegant materials palette and a sense of permanence,” explains Kirsten.
A generous sense of space
The layout and planning of penthouse spaces are also essential, Kirsten says.
Living and sleeping areas should be separately zoned, and there should always be a sense of arrival at the entry as a transition from the building’s common areas to the privacy and intimacy of the penthouse.
“We carefully consider connections between living, dining and kitchen areas and include amenities like a back kitchen or scullery to minimise cooking smells and visual sight lines of daily clutter,” she explains.
Generous shower sizes, huge guest powder rooms, high-quality appliances using the latest technologies (steam ovens and warming drawers), generous pantries and a separate bar or wine cellar with temperature-controlled wine storage are high on Kirsten’s design list.
Penthouses with private pools are right on trend at the moment. High-net-worth buyers also want expansive spaces to entertain outdoors, so large, luxuriously appointed terraces and private rooftop gardens will appeal in any market.
Surprising focal features
Many architects specify penthouse finishes one would typically find in a stand-alone family home, like statement fireplaces and sculptural island benches.
These add to the sense you’ve arrived somewhere truly extraordinary.
“Often downsizers moving from larger homes are looking for the ease of apartment living without compromising on size,” explains Kirsten.
Sanctuary in the sky
Bedrooms and bathrooms should create a feeling of welcome retreat from the work-a-day world outside.
“Main bedrooms should be generous and open to views and abundant natural light,” Kirsten says.
“Robes and ensuites should feel spacious and well connected, while each bathroom feature (bath, vanity and shower) should create individual moments for restfulness, thought or relaxation.
“I think using natural materials is also important for their beauty and ultimate longevity.”
It may sound pedestrian, but a great lifestyle location often means parking is at a premium.
A penthouse must have multiple, spacious, secure and convenient parking for multiple cars—and if it includes a private lift from carpark to penthouse, all the better.
There’s no denying that penthouse apartments are a different kind of real estate. And those lucky to have the resources to buy penthouses have a very different mindset from other property buyers.
At the lofty end of the market, buyers seek the ultimate expression of lifestyle, luxury and prestige rather than simply a place to live or purely a return on investment.