The largest housing markets in the country are included in the list of most expensive cities in the world – with both 52 sqm in Sydney and 97 sqm in Melbourne being priced at US$1 million, according to Knight Frank’s 2019 Wealth Report.
Monaco remains the most expensive city in the world, with 16 sqm of accommodation – the equivalent of a bedroom in a luxury home — costing a whopping US$1 million. Hong Kong came in second, with US$1 million enough to buy only 22 sqm of property. New York and London, meanwhile, tied at third place with 31 sqm of their properties being valued at US$1 million.
The report also found that currency fluctuations over the past year have made prime properties in Australia more attractive to foreign buyers.
Throughout 2018, prime properties in Sydney rose 3.1%, but with a stronger US dollar, the overall impact of the currency shift led to a 7% decline in prices for buyers purchasing prime residential property in Sydney with US dollars.
“Looking at the impact of currency fluctuations on prime residential prices across the major Australian cities over 2018, the end of the year saw a price discount of 7% to 8% for those purchasing with the US dollar, 9% to 10% for those purchasing with Japanese Yen, whilst those purchasing with Renminbi currency saw a reduction of 2% to 3% over the same time,” said Michelle Ciesielski, head of residential research Australia at Knight Frank.
“When currency is factored into the sale price, we can often see a significant variance in the sale price for those purchasing residential property in Australia.”
When the US dollar appreciated drastically against the Australian dollar, enquiries from high-net-worth expat clients rose. These prospective owners took advantage of how much more luxury residential property can be purchased, according to Ciesielski.
The report showed that at the end of 2018, US$1 million could buy a 52 sqm of prime floor space in Sydney— 4 sqm more floor space than we recorded at the end of last year.
Lehman Brothers collapsed in the Global Financial Crisis a decade ago, and during that time, 86 sqm of prime residential property in Sydney could be bought with US$1 million — 34 sqm more than what could be snapped up at the end of 2018.
Back in 2008, US$1 million could cover for 155 sqm of space in Melbourne. The figure has tightened to 97 sqm in December 2018 but is more than the 90 sqm at the end of 2017.
The amount of US$1 million could score a 123 sqm in Brisbane — down from 160 sqm in 2008. Gold Coast also recorded that US$1 million could get 136 sqm at the end of 2018, compared to 173 sqm in 2008.
Perth, on the other hand, has reported an increase in the amount of space US$1 million can buy —from 109 sqm in 2008 to 116 sqm as at December 2018.
“While this only represents seven additional sqm of space, it presents an opportunity for buyers in the luxury residential space given at the height of the decade-long resources boom in June 2011 only 71 sqm could be purchased with US$1 million,” said Deborah Cullen, partner and head of prestige residential Australia at Knight Frank.