An off the plan apartment has smashed the record for Australia's most expensive home.

The top three floors of One Sydney Harbour tower in Sydney's exclusive Barangaroo South development precinct has been sold for A$140 million (NZ$150m).

The sale - which works out at more than $100,000 per sqm - includes the two-storey penthouse and a sub-penthouse below. The property was bought by an Australian, according to Sydney media.

The previous record-holder was the A$100 million sale last year of the Sydney estate Fairwater. The previous highest sale for an apartment was the A$60 million two-storey apartment in 2017 in Crown Resorts' One Barangaroo.

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According to plans for One Sydney Harbour, the 1600sqm penthouse include nine bedrooms, eight-metre-high ceilings, a swimming pool, spa and gym.

The sale will boost the luxury apartment market in Australia, and Auckland too.

Auckland's skyline is set to change with new prestige apartment buildings due to come on stream.

The emerging silhouettes of new builds indicate a new level of luxury high rise living is arriving in the country's biggest city.

The view from One Sydney Harbour is one of the development's strongest selling points. Photo / Supplied
The view from One Sydney Harbour is one of the development's strongest selling points. Photo / Supplied

Pete Evans of Colliers International describes the 57-storey The Pacifica and the 57-storey The Seascape, both under construction in the CBD, as a first wave of prestigious apartment buildings being delivered over the next few years.

They represent a major jump in the luxury apartment market, he says: "It means that Auckland can do these large-scale projects."

Auckland is an international city which is chasing hard at counterparts across the ditch in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne and further afield.

The Pacifica and The Seascape are competing to be Auckland's tallest residential towers and each also promises to redefine luxury city living.

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Each have two storey penthouse suites which will bring apartment luxury into a new stratosphere for the city, but Evans says while Auckland is carving out milestones in the high end apartment scene it still has a way to go to catch the rest of the world.

In Sydney, for example, more than 50 per cent of all sales are now for apartments whereas in Auckland the figure is only around the five per cent mark.

That's low, but that will change, Evans says.

"It will grow from five to 10 to 15 to 20 per cent over time."

Gavin Lloyd, of real estate specialists CBRE, says the likes of The Pacifica, which is being developed by Hengyi Pacific, an affiliate of mainland Chinese company Shandong HYI, is just the start.

"More and more of these types of buildings will come up on our skyline in the next 20 years."

An artist impression of the Seascape, on Customs St East, Auckland. Photo / Supplied
An artist impression of the Seascape, on Customs St East, Auckland. Photo / Supplied

The Pacifica, he says, goes at least part of the way towards bringing Auckland up to date.

"Absolutely top-end luxury" facilities at the Pacifica include the swimming pool, spa and sauna, the cinema, the library, and various resident lounges throughout the building.

But more than facilities and fit outs, luxury is about the user experience, Lloyd says.

At The Pacifica that will include a true concierge service, which is common in New York. Residents will be able to toss over their keys, have the car parked and the groceries brought up.

And the buyers are there, Lloyd says. Around eight or nine sub penthouse apartments in the building have been sold for around $18m apiece.

These apartments have huge floor spaces but at around 650sq m they nothing on the "super penthouse" which is two stories and covers 1188sq m.

That has yet to sell but at $35m has the most expensive price tag for a New Zealand apartment.

It features a guest suite, a chef's kitchen and a butler's pantry, a wine cellar and a tasting room, a gym, a sky garden, a board room and parking for 12.

If all that sounds like luxury that's because it is luxury - yet the price is still small bickies compared to Sydney and New York.

Lloyd says other than price, however, the super penthouse at The Pacifica and the Boyd Residence are comparable.

What makes them so?

"The rarity of them, for a start," he says.

"There are very few of those types of apartments around the world. They're generally at the top of the absolutely iconic type buildings."

The Pacifica is set to dominate the Auckland skyline. Photo / Supplied
The Pacifica is set to dominate the Auckland skyline. Photo / Supplied

The Seascape, on Customs St East, will ask $20m-plus for its master penthouse which will also occupy two floors and which will also wraparound views of the city and harbour.

This tower is being built by Shundi Customs, a subsidiary of an international development company based in China.

Shundi has said the building's diamond-shaped architecture will become one of those landmark residences, like New York which has 432 Park Avenue Tower, or London which has One Hyde Park.

"If you move around the major cities of the world you find skyscrapers which not only offer beautiful places to live, they make a major statement about the style and substance of the city that houses them," Shundi Customs general manager Harrison Shao has said.

An artist impression of The International. Photo / Supplied
An artist impression of The International. Photo / Supplied

And then there's The International, in Princes St. Developers Sanctuary Group is converting the ex- Fonterra headquarters into a 17-level residential build offering apartments bigger than many homes.

It has been reported New Zealand businessman and White House aide Chris Liddell paid a $15m deposit for the penthouse apartment, and that sports stars, business and creative industry leaders are buying there.

But where such luxury might still be relatively rare in New Zealand, across the ditch you might almost call it common.

Auckland real estate agent to the wealthy, Michael Boulgaris, is the New Zealand agent for River Isles, an exclusive Gold Coast development.

Here, he says, you get not only absolute waterfront and views of Surfer's Paradise but your own infinity pool.