Stories abound of buyers who've slashed hundreds of thousands of dollars off the prices of luxurious waterfront houses lately. Some have won 20% or more off the asking price, meaning for a $1m home, some $200,000 taken off.

That difference has meant a whole new field of buyers who once thought these homes were out of range have now come back and started to consider some of the top end Australian properties.  Cash-strapped wealthy owners have been forced to pawn off some of these prestige properties. Those without the money or time for patience especially have been forced to cut major chunks off the price.

Meanwhile, first homebuyers have been actively buying and building up competition on the lower level, causing those prices to rise.  It's a contrasting picture. The bargaining power and wide range of discounted product seems to definitely be in the favour of the top end properties.

So if you've got the money to do it, should you buy in this higher end? The answer relies heavily on your goals, say property experts. For owner-occupiers who've been dreaming of this type of home, now may be the best time to get a bargain. But investor-beware - this is often a volatile market and rarely carries much rental value. Kit Kadlec reports.

To read the full article, get a copy of the latest issue of Your Investment Property magazine, out on sale now.

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