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With enviable views over Sydney Harbour from many properties, Elizabeth Bay also boasts some of the grandest homes in the Eastern Suburbs. Captains of industry, from the Murdochs and Packers to trucking magnate Lindsay Fox, and former Prime Minister Paul Keating have chosen Elizabeth Bay.

Elizabeth Bay history

Alexander Macleay, civil servant and passionate collector of insects, moved to NSW as NSW Colonial Secretary in 1826. Not long in Australia, Macleay was granted 22 hectares of land in what is now Potts Point/Elizabeth Bay. The estate was vast, stretching from what is now the El Alamein Fountain on Macleay Street to where Billyard Avenue runs today. 

The new Colonial Secretary spent great sums on establishing magnificent gardens that included not only native trees and shrubs but also exotic plants, gravel paths, ornamental bridges and grottoes. As his fortune dwindled, Macleay was forced to subdivide his estate, with only his primary residence, Elizabeth Bay House, relatively untouched by progress. 

The remains of one grotto may be found on Billyard Avenue and most locals are familiar with the sight. Lesser known is the grotto on the ‘secret path’ that runs from Onslow Avenue to Billyard Avenue, where you’ll see original stone walls and steps.

Historic buildings in Elizabeth Bay

Some of the earliest apartment blocks in Australia are in Elizabeth Bay. A favourite, Darnley Hall, sits on Onslow Avenue below the Manhattan Apartments while Kingsclere, with magnificent apartments that boast several reception rooms, is on the corner of Macleay Street and Greenknowe Avenue.

Kingsclere, owned originally by the Albert family (who also owned another landmark property, the Spanish-Mission-style ‘Boomerang’ in Billyard Avenue) went to strata title in the 1990s. The Albert family were prominent music publishers who commissioned Boomerang in the 1920s. Since its sale by the Albert family in 1978, it has changed hands several times. Once owned by property developer, Warren Anderson, it is now owned by trucking magnate Lindsay Fox.

Not far from Boomerang, in Elizabeth Bay Road off Macleay Reserve, you’ll find historic homes such as Ascot, built in 1875, Tresco, which dates from 1868, and Kincoppal, the original site of Kincoppal Catholic school for girls. It is now subdivided into apartments but you can still see the stables at street level from Elizabeth Bay Road.

On the opposite side, you’ll find the charming Oakburn and Laureville properties with their understated fretwork and picket fences.

Why choose Elizabeth Bay?

Multi-million-dollar properties sit side by side with studios and small apartment buildings (including three – Ercildoune in Elizabeth Bay Road, Ithaca in Ithaca Road, and Aquarius in Roslyn Gardens where we leased a property recently – designed by renowned architect, Harry Seidler). And although most locals in brasher Potts Point discount the options on Elizabeth Bay, you can find some great cafés and boutique shops such as Modernist Design in Elizabeth Bay Road. The suburb is ultra-permeable, with many laneways connecting upper and lower levels, and Rushcutters Bay. The suburb is quieter, with no through roads, meaning minimal traffic.

Elizabeth Bay, although housing stock has something for any budget, has been a high-status address since colonial days. Proximity to the CBD and the short distance from harbour beaches makes the suburb an attractive destination for renters.

The suburb is serviced by the 311 bus and is walking distance to the 324, 325 and 327 buses from Bayswater Road. Nearby Potts Point boasts boutique shopping, tiny bars, restaurants and three supermarkets, including a Harris Farm Market. And we couldn’t mention Elizabeth Bay without talking about Beare Park, with two access points to the harbour; Arthur McElhone Reserve below Elizabeth Bay House, with its intimate lawns and koi ponds; and Rushcutters Bay just a stroll down the Holdsworth Avenue steps.

Elizabeth Bay on film

It isn’t only locals and investors who appreciate the charm of our suburb. Film producers have chosen Elizabeth Bay properties such as the Spanish-Mission-style ‘Boomerang’ as film locations while 6-8 Barncleuth Square was used for the TV series, Love Child.

Elizabeth Bay home prices and rental yield

As the suburb has such diverse housing stock, median unit prices mean little. In addition, many sellers choose to sell off market and to withhold the sale price. However, a July sale of a three-bedroom property in Billyard Avenue with water views achieved $3,885,000 and sale prices of Elizabeth Bay houses range from $10 million to almost $20 million or more (as at June 2021).

The median unit price in Elizabeth Bay is $950,000 and the average rent is $475 a week. However, canny investors can snap up studio apartments for as low as $370,000.

These figures translate into a possible gross rental yield for units of 3.06%.

Capital growth in Elizabeth Bay NSW

Capital growth in Elizabeth Bay has dipped slightly over the past 12 months, with capital growth of -5.29% compared with a five-year average of 5.02% and ten-year growth of 5.85% (s at June 2021).

Adding value to your Elizabeth Bay investment property

To ensure high occupancy and a better-quality tenant, landlords need to keep their properties relevant. Especially now with a flight to regional cities or suburbs with newer housing stock, it’s vital to give your asset the best chance of success.

Top things to do to keep your Elizabeth Bay rental top of mind

  1. Make it pet-friendly. The incidence of pet ownership in the Eastern Suburbs is increasing as people continue to work from home and live in smaller households. These renters need understanding landlords.
  2. Keep up the maintenance. Things wear out, paint and flooring gets tired. To give your property the best chance of gaining a long-term tenant, keep your property fresh.
  3. Add amenities like air conditioning, ceiling fans or a dishwasher.
  4. Ensure you and your property manager communicate regularly with tenants to ensure they’re happy and they know you’re there for them.

Recently leased properties

In Elizabeth Bay, Vogue Property leased 4 properties in the last 12 months (as at June 2021).
You can view all our recently leased Elizabeth Bay properties to get a good feel for what properties are renting for.


Jaime Pratt
A Senior Property Manager and Director with 20+ years’ specialist experience, Jaime is an expert negotiator who consistently achieves outstanding results for her clients.