Are you looking to buy a penthouse apartment? Here is what you need to look for.

Many people consider owning and living in a penthouse to be a lifetime goal; after all, who doesn’t want live to in the best apartment with the best views? If you are considering realising this goal and are looking to buy a penthouses, here are some of the major things you need to look for.

Traditionally, a penthouse apartment was simply larger than standard apartments. Perhaps it had an extra bedroom or a study, or was simply a penthouse because it was on the top floor. Today, a penthouse can even be on the ground floor and is defined far more by the quality of the finishes as well as its size. New build penthouses generally will be all tricked out in a whole host of ways and boasts luxury amenities not found in the building’s other units. These might include upgraded appliances, increased security, fancier finishes, a larger balcony, oversize windows, a breathtaking view, a larger floor plan, or a private entrance or even a private lift.

Finding a penthouse that suits you and your lifestyle isn’t easy though, as they are rare and exclusive, and hence hard to find.


This might be the most important (and obvious) thing to look for. Whether your penthouse is to be your permanent home or just your holiday pad, you will want a superior address. Look for locations that are difficult to replace, Beachside and riverside are huge pluses. Also look for amenity to be close by. Generally your penthouse will be a property you can age in, so having amenities close buy will become increasingly important as you grow older.

Elysian Broadbeach, Gold Coast


Whole floor apartment? Even half a floor is going to give you a lot of privacy. We all love that and if you are going to be buying a super expensive luxury property, it should come as standard. A penthouse which has 3 or 4 apartments surrounding it just doesn’t have that certain je ne sais quoi you expect. Heaven forbid being on the same floor as a whole lowly 1 bedroom apartment.

Fortunately, most penthouses have features like this built in. Generally penthouses are still located on the top floors of a building so you won’t have to worry about upstairs neighbours. You may be the only one on your floor, or one of only two or three, which greatly reduces the amount of ambient noise that can reach you from your neighbours. It may mean having your own private outdoor space, or gym, pool, or other amenities. These are nice features to look for.

Also look for extra sound-proofing. Other common features which add significantly to your privacy will be a private lift, a separate car parking area and even exclusive penthouse apartments only concierge. You will find that it is the small things that make living in a penthouse better than your average apartment, and the added privacy will most certainly be particularly appreciated by those downsizing from a house.

Elysian Broadbeach Penthouse balcony (render provided by CBRE)
Elysian Broadbeach Penthouse balcony (render provided by CBRE)

The Views

We would be remiss to talk about penthouses without mentioning the (generally) incredible views you will get. Sure you can have gorgeous views from other apartments, but they often can’t compete with the views from the top floors—and especially when said views come with the added value of your own private outdoor space.

Elysian Broadbeach Penthouse view and living area (render provided by CBRE)
Elysian Broadbeach Penthouse view and living area (render provided by CBRE)

When you’re checking out the views, try to consider what the apartment will be like during different times of the day and year. Those western-facing windows might be spectacular in the afternoon, but they’ll really warm the space up during summer and that might be bad for your power bill (especially in Queensland!). Make sure you consider the effects of glazed (or double glazed) windows on this as well, as most penthouses have these.


Even if you’re buying a penthouse for just you (or you and your husband/wife), make sure you check out where the bedrooms are located on the floor plans, and in person if possible. The master bedroom of a penthouse apartment may be better described as palatial in most instances, and it should come resplendent with all the bells and whistles: larger ensuites and walk-in wardrobes, free-standing baths, double sinks (or even double showers!). You name it, the high-end, luxury version of it is in the master bedroom in a penthouse.

Elysian Master Bedroom
Elysian Broadbeach Penthouse master bedroom (render provided by CBRE).

It would be a shame if those children or grandchildren accidentally wandered in while you were having a relaxing bath so recommend looking for a floor plan where the master is separated in some way from the guest bedrooms.

Car Parks

This is an easy one to overlook, but we suggest double-checking just incase. Make sure you know exactly how many car parking spaces are on the title, and then make sure you have enough car parking spaces. If you buy a penthouse in a busy CBD area, there may be restrictions about street parking, so you need to ensure that you’ll always have somewhere to put your car(s).

After you’ve done that, check out how you’ll be parking. Some penthouses have residents park in secure underground parking, other have technology that parks your car for you, and yet others might let you drive your car into the elevator (and then into your apartment).

Living areas

One of the major features we look for in classy penthouses is abundant natural light to make your living space large and comfortable, and extra high ceilings. The extra height in a ceiling delivers a whole host of benefits in both look and feel (it will make any room seem larger and lighter), but also circulation. If you are luxy enough to find a penthouse with ocean breezes and cross-circulation, extra high ceilings will accentuate these natural climatic benefits.

Elysian Broadbeach Penthouse living area and kitchen (render provided by CBRE)
Elysian Broadbeach Penthouse living area and kitchen (render provided by CBRE)

Portico’s or private entries are also a great feature in well designed penthouse floor plans. They again add to your privacy and give an apartment a decidedly ‘luxury home’ feel.

Added resale value

It’s worth noting that a lot of penthouses perform better than a standard apartment in resale value. There are many factors that contribute to this, but the most significant is simply the lack of supply of quality penthouses in the market. As the downsizing phenomenon has gathered pass, developers imply have not build enough new penthouse apartments to satisfy the demand in the market, leading to significantly better price gains for penthouses over non-penthouse apartments.

Elysian Penthouse living area
Elysian Broadbeach Penthouse living area (render provided by CBRE)

On average penthouses tend to sell for about 5% to 10% more than non-penthouse apartments. And they also tend to be less affected by market volatility as a result, says Miller.

Buying a penthouse is ultimately about buying a lifestyle rather than an investment. But as it is no doubt going to be a sizeable investment, you need to ensure you pick the right one for you. Careful consideration can help you do this, keeping in mind what your lifestyle and health is like now and where it will be in five, ten or fifteen years.

A penthouse project that might be worth considering is Elysian Broadbeach. The penthouse suites are something else entirely, with views stretching from the beach to the Coolangatta hinterlands, including the nearby Gold Coast CBD. Sitting over levels 19 and 20, the Elysian North Penthouse residence has large balconies to complement the luxury 192 m² interiors. The finishes of the penthouse suite, as to be expected, have been taken to another height of luxury with designs and finishes not seen within the main apartment finishes. The penthouse ‘Sky Homes’ bring together some of the best features of the whole development, with cutting-edge technology combining with high-quality finishes. If you would like to learn more about these penthouse apartments, please enquire or click the link below.

Written: 5 December 2019

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