People flock to live in Potts Point and Sydney’s eastern suburbs for many reasons, but the views are right up there.

From jaw-dropping Harbour Bridge, Opera House, and city views to sparkling harbour vistas, open ocean sunrises, and sunny beach outlooks, certain homes in Sydney’s east enjoy some of the most stunning views in the country. But what are these views worth?

What’s in a view?

There’s a reason why the phrase ‘million-dollar view’ is a real estate classic. Study after study has shown that looking at nature, including bodies of water and sunlight, makes us calmer, less stressed and generally happier. The benefits apply to city views too, when water is included in the vista. It’s no wonder properties with water views are so sought after here in Potts Point and Sydney’s east.

Having a view also means there’s always something to look at – watch the world go by, the boats sailing, people walking, lights twinkling and feel your mood lift. There’s little doubt that a view adds value, and provides your property with a unique selling point that cannot be replicated.

A case study: What’s happening at the Pomeroy?

Residents of Potts Point’s Pomeroy building, at 14 Macleay Street, are fighting the potential loss of their harbour views, according to the Sydney Morning Herald and the Daily Mail. The glittering harbour vistas that apartments at the rear of the building enjoy will be blocked up to at least the third floor if the proposed construction of a boarding house on Billyard Avenue goes ahead. The landowners directly behind the Pomeroy have submitted a DA for a six-storey, 29-room boarding house to provide low-cost housing they argue is intended for essential workers. Residents of the Pomeroy have expressed concerns that the boarding house’s bulk and its proximity to the shared boundary will block both light penetration and harbour views for apartments up to the third floor, and they have engaged a lawyer, architect, town planner and heritage consultant to help them pursue their case.

So, harbour views in our area are clearly highly prized and hotly contested – but what are they worth?

How much value does a harbour view add?

The world-renowned harbour is the jewel in Sydney’s crown, and when it comes to real estate, a Sydney Harbour view is a prized commodity.

The most iconic views of all are those that include the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, like those enjoyed by many prestige properties in Potts Point. Homes with picture-postcard views of our most famous landmarks are perennially popular with locals, ex-pats and foreign buyers alike. But the sparkling harbour is a drawcard on its own, even without the Bridge and Opera House in the frame. Views looking towards the north and east of the harbour, like those held by certain lucky homes in Elizabeth Bay, Darling Point, Point Piper, Rose Bay, Vaucluse, Bellevue Hill and Double Bay, are just as enchanting and in hot demand from buyers.

But what is a harbour view actually worth? One estimate from global property consultancy Knight Frank puts the premium generated by a Sydney waterfront property at an incredible 89 per cent. To put that figure into context, the same research estimates that Australian waterfront homes command, on average, a 40 per cent premium compared to similar properties inland. That iconic view of the Bridge and the Opera House has been said to command a higher price than a Sydney harbour vista without our most famous landmarks.

Other commentators say the cost of the view varies depending on the quality of the view. So while an obstructed view may add, say, 5% to the price of a standard apartment, a stellar unobstructed penthouse apartment-style view could add anything from 30% to 80% to the price.

Then there’s the issue of a “nice aspect” versus a stunning view. While a nice aspect or local scenery will add to a property’s lifestyle appeal and make it an enjoyable place to live, it may not increase the value, whereas a stunning view probably will.

But can the price of a view really be quantified? So many factors contribute to the sale price of a property, and while a knockout view will undoubtedly influence a property’s appeal, and how much a buyer is prepared to pay, at the end of the day, it’s tricky to isolate the value of the view from the property’s other features and attributes.

What about other eastern suburbs views?

Of course, it’s not just harbour views that add value to an eastern suburbs property. City views, ocean views and beach views are all also coveted by eastern suburbs buyers. The vistas towards the heads or across the open ocean enjoyed by some of the homes in Vaucluse, Watsons Bay and Dover Heights are all very valuable, as are the twinkling city views that certain residences in Potts Point enjoy. Properties in Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama that command views of the beach have the added benefits of ocean soundscapes and fresh sea breezes, as well as the promise of a year-round resort lifestyle, with the sand just footsteps away.

Looking to buy or sell a property with a view in Sydney’s east? Get in touch with my team today.

Article by Jason Boon

In a real estate market that is the focus of Australian, and indeed worldwide attention, Jason Boon's results in the Sydney scene make him a highly significant figure within the industry. A long-term specialist in the Potts Point and inner eastern suburbs area, he is uniquely placed to leverage his skills and local knowledge as the area undergoes significant change and diversification. Jason ha…