Bondi Beach more expensive than Paris?

It might seem strange that a buyer agent wants to talk about history but bear with me! During the Dutch Golden Age of the early 1600’s, tulip mania engulfed the country. By 1637 the price of a single tulip bulb was selling for 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. The coveted flower was regarded as a luxury item and the eventual supply squeeze fuelled the speculation. This event often described as “tulip mania” has been extensively researched in books about popular delusions. No prizes for guessing that like all bubbles, they burst with huge social and economic consequences.

Bondi Beach apartments sell out

It’s September and the second weekend in Spring. As the tulips come into flower we also saw the first release of apartments at the Pacific Swiss Grand at Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach. With overseas interest the apartments sold like hot cakes. A one bedroom, 70 square metre unit, sold for $1.9 million or $27,000 per m2. Everything except the penthouse was snapped up, but agents were confident that ongoing negotiations would finalise a sale for $15 million or $50,000 per m2.

Bondi the international investment destination

Now don’t get me wrong. Bondi with its beach, sublime views, cafes, restaurants and proximity to the city is certainly one of the global residential icons. But where previously apartments with beach views traded around $9,000 – $10,000 per mwe have now moved into the rarefied air of uber luxury apartment pricing.  With these high expectations, will Bondi now be quietly discussed in first class lounges by international jet -setters? Is it now elevated to the same league as Cap Ferrat, Courchevel, Cannes and Hong Kong?

Bondi prices similar to London

Let’s take a look at some comparisons. The most expensive prime luxury apartments are found in Monaco with prices at $58,300 per m2. The ultra-chic apartments of Belgravia in London are cheap by comparison at $48,900 per m2. In Paris the historic centres of the 6th and 7th arrondissements, around Saint Germain des Pres and the Luxembourg Gardens, are the hottest and most exclusive areas. Uber chic apartments in these neighbourhoods will set you back around $27,000 per m2. In the “Big Apple”, to pick up a Manhattan apartment, you would expect to fork out close to $23,000 per m2. But this may vary depending on whether the share market is up or down on the day! Even the luxury end of the Sydney apartment market generally commands around $23,000 per m2. So what is going on? Is this just a supply squeeze fuelling the speculation?

Ultra-premium apartments or tulip bulbs?

If and when the new benchmark of $50,000 per m2 is set for Bondi Beach it will become the second most expensive global location for ultra-premium apartments. Maybe it’s time to buy some tulip bulbs?

“By Shane Clinton”

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