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Nice, France
Nice is a key player in the allure of the Cote d’Azur; the French Riviera jewel has been the playground of the rich and the privileged for more than a century. Along the seafront, the long curve of the Promenade des Anglais follows the beach, connecting the airport and the harbour, and is the perfect spot for people watching with views of the Mediterranean and the Old Town’s Belle Époque structures. In the summer, the super yachts moor nearby, adding to the glamour. “Be it a middle manager from Dusseldorf or a Russian oligarch, they all basically crave the sun in a safe environment, where you can access glitzy Cannes and Monaco or the olive groves and inland villages,” said Alex Balkin, a broker at Savills French Riviera. “Today, the high end of the market is dominated mainly by buyers from Eastern Europe.”

Nice’s most popular areas to live are the Promenade des Anglais, the Quai des Etats-Unis (the boulevard fronting the Old Town), and the Boulevard Franck Pilatte to the east, due to their Mediterranean views and 19th-century architecture. Housing styles range from Belle Époque apartments to modern residences with swimming pools and downtown seafront houses. A mint-condition two-bedroom apartment in these sought-after locations costs between 400,000 and 800,000 euros. A similar property rents for between 1,500 and 2,500 euros a month.

  • The Riveria Times: English-language news, features and events from the French and Italian Riviera

Sydney, Australia
Sydney is synonymous with its harbour, home to such iconic structures as the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge as well as Bondi and Manly Beaches. In fact, it is the proximity to beaches that draws so many people from around Australia and the world, who move to the city for its easygoing lifestyle, sophisticated culture,  world-class restaurants, and of course, stunning views. “Certainly anything on the harbourfront with a view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge or Opera House is seen, not only locally, but globally as being extremely desirable,” said Shayne Harris, head of residential at Savills Australia. “It is the reason why such high prices can be achieved for these properties when they do become available.”

Blessed with riverfront, harbour-front or oceanfront settings, some of the city’s most popular areas include Vaucluse, north of Bondi Beach; leafy, upscale Double Bay and exclusive Point Piper, two adjacent areas on the south side of the harbour; and Hunters Hill, one of the city’s oldest residential areas, west of the harbour. These homes tend to be some of the most expensive in Sydney. There are no houses directly on the harbour in the CBD, but there are many apartment buildings with stellar views and equally stellar prices. “A two bedroom apartment in Macquarie Street that was not waterfront, but overlooked Circular Quay sold earlier this year for 3,050,000 Australian dollars,” said Harris. The 2013 median house price in Vaucluse is A$3.9 million, while in Hunters Hill it is around A$1.1 million. In Point Piper, where there are huge estates, the median price is $19.8 million. The rent for a two-bedroom flat in Vaucluse is A$2,290 a month or up to A$3,200 a month if it has a view of the water. The average monthly rent in Point Piper it is A$3,000, and A$1,800 in Hunters Hill.

  • The Beast: magazine covering Sydney’s beaches and eastern suburbs
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