The Premium of a Penthouse

Whether a unit is located in a new skyscraper or in a renovated mid-rise building, real estate purchasers are often willing to spend millions for their ideal property, and the penthouse buyer is no different. That crème de la crème unit with uninterrupted views and few if any neighbours has traditionally been a sought-after piece of real estate in any development. But is that still the case today, when “penthouse” no longer means a single top-floor unit with views, privacy and a spacious terrace, as it has in the past? In an era when buildings have multiple top floor units and some lack outdoor space, is calling an apartment a penthouse merely a way to highlight its status? We researched some recent Barbados penthouse sales and compared the achieved prices to those of other units in the same development -beachfront and inland- both on the South and West coasts to understand what sort of premium (if any) a penthouse might command.

South Coast Developments

West Coast Developments

So, does the penthouse unit really command a premium? Our research indicates that while the west coast beachfront sales prove this statement to be true, analysis of the south coast sales and inland sales on both coasts, shows the answer isn’t as clear cut. What it does highlight, is that other factors may be driving the appeal of a penthouse apartment, and some of the more common features we have noted include larger unit sizes, additional bedrooms and bathrooms and private pools. Other desired amenities also include:

  • Higher ceilings.
  • Open floor plans.
  • High-end appliances.
  • Additional windows.
  • Private outdoor space- a balcony, terrace, or rooftop deck.
  • Direct elevator access (meaning an elevator opens up right into the apartment).
  • Extra parking spaces.

Notably, we could not confirm the level of supply in the developments at the time of each sale, as where few units are available buyers may be willing to pay a premium which could potentially skew the results. What is clear however is that each penthouse is unique within a market. It is not easily comparable on a price-per-square foot basis with other units in the same area, or even in the same building- simply because of the variance in amenities offered. While the premium for a penthouse may not always be apparent, at the end of the day it seems for some buyers, nothing beats being the King of the Hill!


Lisanne Graham
CPA, PMP, MRICS, Leader – Advisory Services

Share Your Thoughts

  1. Whilst price is a good measure of the value of a property and should reflect demand, the price discount to advertised for sale price has for some years up to 2017 has been significant and the time to sell often very long. So, I wonder if the attractiveness of a penthouse properties vs others reduced completion of sale timescales.


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Lisanne Graham
CPA, PMP, MRICS, Leader – Advisory Services

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