Sydney ranked 4th out of 12 cities globally for super-prime residential sales activity in Q4 2023

20 March 2024

Sydney has come in at number four out of 12 markets measured globally for super-prime residential sales activity – that is, residential sales over US$10 million – in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to the latest research from Knight Frank.

Knight Frank’s Global Super-Prime Intelligence Q4 2023 report, which provides a quarterly snapshot of US$10 million-plus residential sales conditions across 12 key international markets, found the volume of global super-prime residential sales rose 11% in Q4 2023 on a year-on-year basis. There were 411 sales across the 12 markets covered in the three months to December compared to 370 in the same period in 2022.

Sydney had the fourth highest number of sales in Q4 2023, recording 42 transactions of super-prime residential properties, double its 21 sales in Q3 2023 and almost double the 22 sales it recorded one year prior, in Q4 2022.

The New South Wales’ capital came in behind Dubai, with 108 sales of super-prime residential properties in Q4, London (52) and New York (52).

Geneva, which had 38 sales, rounded out the top five. Hong Kong volumes dipped to 15 sales, pushing it out of the top five markets for the first time.

In 2023, Sydney had a total of 113 super-prime residential sales, up from 108 in 2022, putting it in sixth place out of the 12 cities analysed globally.

The total value of super-prime residential sales in Sydney over 2023 was $US1.932 billion, while in Q4 it was US$632 million.

Although super-prime sales across the 12 global markets rose in the fourth quarter, pushing 2023’s total sales ahead of 2022, they were still 22% lower than the levels reached in 2021. However, the total was still significantly higher than the pre-pandemic level seen in 2019.

The total value of super-prime sales reached US$31.9 billion in the year ending December 2023. While this was a 22% decrease from the US$40.7 billion peak during the 2021 pandemic property boom, it was still substantially higher than the pre-pandemic level in 2019.

Knight Frank’s Global Head of Research Liam Bailey said the uptick in super-prime sales activity reverses the slowdown in the previous quarter and reflects a more confident global economic outlook at the end of 2023, as expectations for interest rate cuts in 2024 grew stronger.

“2023 was a pivotal year for global super-prime markets,” he said. “While rates continued to climb in the first half of the year, wealth creation rebounded as asset prices surged on the back of the AI – fuelled equity boom, which was then supported in the final quarter by expectations of lower rates.

“2024 is likely to be defined by the eventual pivot to lower debt costs which will boost activity in key global super-prime markets.”

Knight Frank Partner Erin van Tuil said the super-prime real estate market is continuing to prove popular and grow in momentum in Australia due to a combination of strengthening buyer sentiment, a shift in market outlook and the ever-present attractiveness of Australia as a safehaven to live and invest.

“Wealth creation in Australia is also supporting the market – with a notable rise in cash transactions, which now represent over half of all prime property sales in Sydney,” she said.

Knight Frank’s recently-released The Wealth Report 2024 found the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) – those with a net worth of US$30 million or more – in Australia rose by 2.9% from 2022 to 2023 to reach 15,347 people and is expected to rise a further 27% by 2028.