What are water views worth ?

From: Jay Hunter


Thought I would post a question/discussion I haven't seen on this forum before...

Looking around some of the beach suburbs in Sydney I have been trying to determine the value of water views... I find it's hard to determine as no two properties are really the same.

but - lets assume we have a unit/house in a beach suburb with NO water views and it is worth $x. now we move the place to different spots with all other property considerations being the same except location: What would you consider the price of the following to be ($x + y)...

a) about 500m away from the water but with Water views
b) 2 streets back from water No Water views (say 100 meters to beach)
c) 1 Street back with water views
d) on same street as Water (direct views)

Anyones thoughts and experiences or discussions would be interesting.

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Reply: 1
From: Dave :)

Hi Jay,

The views are worth whatever value YOU place on them. If you just moved from the Sahara desert to Port Melbourne, I'm sure they would be worth a lot to you.

Real example, last week. A 3 bedroom townhouse, 500 metres from the beach in Port Melbourne, sold for $600,000. A few days later an identical townhouse, located across from the beach, sold for $1,100,000. To this buyer, the view was worth almost as much as the property itself - $500,000.

You determine what it's worth, by placing a figure on what you would pay for it.

As an interesting side note, I've found that many investors are opting for city views, rather than water views. The main reason is that once it gets dark, you don't see the water. And, many Gen X renters don't get home to enjoy the view until after dark. You can enjoy the city views no matter what time of day it is. Interesting. Personally, I'd rather have both.



{Life's short...play hard}
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Reply: 1.1
From: Sergey Golovin

Was an article in Daily Telegraph (?) yesterday (?) talking about theft on the water front. There were 32 robberies in two months done by smart robbers from the boats in southern suburbs of Sydney. They also used willy-bins to load all goodies and take them to the boat ramp and into the boat. The first thing owners were pissed of about - willy bin is missing...

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Reply: 1.1.1
From: Ian Parham

Well done Serge, you always bring a smile with your posts!

I know I would be angry too if I was running a circumcision clinic and someone stole my 'willy' bin!

Have a good day all :>)

Cheers Ian
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From: Donna Larcos

My husband and I (to quote someone
famous) have had our eye on a south
coast town for retirement. The waterfronts
were getting a bit expensive but it was the
end we wanted to be. Then we
discovered a run of houses that were
"waterfront" but a few at the end had a
bush view in front of them. Price for these
dropped 100-150,00k. But the houses
had lovely bush views, you could still hear
the waves crashing from the verandah
and a two minute walk to the beach. As
someone said above, at night there is
nothing to see of the water view. We now
figure we can cope with the lovely bush
and hear the waves for a saving of
$150,000. We are now waiting like
vultures for one of about 5-10 houses to
come on the market!
Donna L.
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From: Michele B

Of course you could always move to lovely SA where water views are both stunning AND affordable - no icon architecture/bridges to spoil the scenery either! That right Sim?

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From: The Wife

When we say water views, do we mean ALL water views?

Some canals are horrible and stinky and I'm sure the sole reason for the upturn in ross river fever. SOme people I know who live in canals look at me strangely when I suggest we go sit outside, no no they say, " we never go outside darling, thats what airconditioners are for, fresh air" , so, fashion item of the rich and poor of smelling?

What about places like Williamstown in Melbourne? really??..come ON!...water views? of what? the water is dirty and oily from all the tankers and work that goes on there, theres no real beach to speak of? Waves crashing? yeah if you can hear it over the traffic. ( I still brought a waterfront home there, oh woe is me, slave to fashion!)

What about those man made lakes? Ok, some of them can be quite pleasant and they do a damn fine job in reticulating the water and keeping it reasonably fresh, nice ducks to feed, bit of a lifestyle thing for families I reckon.

Gold Coast? Who really goes there for the water views anyway? Lets discount GC all together.

QLD Islands...ahhh..bliss...bewdifull!

SA coast, ahhh...bliss...bewdifull!

But the bewdifull spots are so remote, they dont even have cable access!?!?

So does practicality win? yep.

Do the lights of the city/versus the oily sea water win? yep.

Heres a good game we played on the gold coast once,

"sea side of buildings = chairs and tables"

City side of buildings = no chairs and tables"

We spent days walking around looking at this phenomena.

what does this prove??

It proves that when you go on holidays with us, its boring as hell.

~Life is a daring adventure, or nothing at all~
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From: Michael Croft

As alluded to by others, water views can be quantified through comparable sales: $ of property with view minus $ of similar property without view = $ value of view. Work this for several properties in the area and you'll get a close approximation of a views worth.

It gets tricky when there are no comparable sales or the views are different, eg. same units one with view of Sydney harbour towards heads and the other with the classic coathanger and sails. Hey, it's just a view of Sydney harbour, right!

Both units went up for auction following each other by a week. Classic views of bridge etc. got $40k more even with the western sun exposure. Both sold to OS investors; would locals have put similar values on the views? Your guess is as good as mine, but in this case the OS buyers have set the market in a certain direction.

This is where your choice of valuer and the information you provide them with comes into play, as you can set the direction and influence market value.

Michael Croft
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