Community feel and cafe culture: South-west Sydney grows up

Community feel and cafe culture: South-west Sydney grows up

When you hear people talk about Sydney’s growth areas it’s common to think of those suburbs close to the city centre. But south-west Sydney is also undergoing a boom as land releases open up in areas around Camden – about 70 kilometres from Sydney’s CBD.

South-west Sydney encompasses a number of different boundaries, such as the suburbs around Liverpool and Campbelltown, as well as the regions of Macarthur, Camden and Canterbury-Bankstown.

Long-term Camden resident Sarah Trethewy has watched the region change over time, but especially over the past few years. “It’s evolved from being like a small country town into an area that is really part of Sydney,” she says. “There are a lot of house and land packages available and it’s become a place where young families can afford to buy.”

One of the key attractions, Trethewy says, aside from affordability, is the cafe culture that’s developing.

“The main street where I live is a great spot for brunch with cafes like Squeeze and Grind, and Barenz, which have also expanded into cocktails and this is bringing a bit of nightlife into the area. Sometimes it’s so busy it’s difficult to find a table on the weekend.”

She adds that more entertainment venues are opening up, including a cinema at Narellan. “There are also a lot of open spaces and walking tracks and that are attractive to people,” she says. “The transport options are also improving.”

Domain economist Dr Andrew Wilson says the attraction for property in south-west Sydney is largely a dollar-driven one. “But there are people who are looking more towards a lower density lifestyle in the south-west, so it’s not just affordability behind the growth, it’s also a lifestyle choice.”

Wilson says this area is developing its own “flavour” and while affordability is an attraction, prices are also growing strongly, particularly in areas such as Oran Park.

“In some places it’s difficult to find anything under $700,000,” he says. “This shows it’s not just first-home buyers who are heading here, it’s also people who are trading into that area from other parts of Sydney.”

The main growth areas include suburbs such as Gledswood Hills, Catherine Field and Narellan. “Even Camden is a significant growth area,” Wilson says. “The government recognises this and is introducing more infrastructure – especially transport infrastructure – to support these burgeoning communities.”

George Diniakos, AVJennings State Manager for NSW, says it has been part of AVJennings’ strategic plan to be in this area. “We’ve been here 10 years,” he says. “The south-west is growing at an exponential rate and we are developing both communities and housing styles to suit all appetites.”

AVJennings has three major projects in the area across three suburbs: Evergreen at Spring Farm, Arcadian Hills, Cobbitty and Argyle at Elderslie. Diniakos says Spring Farm will comprise primarily of single-storey homes while Elderslie and Cobbitty have a good mix of detached and two-storey terrace-style homes.

“Our communities are very appealing to new home buyers as they offer a diverse range of product types,” he says.

Diniakos says AVJennings buyers are at a range of different stages in the home ownership journey. “Different communities attract different buyers depending on their needs and wants. Arcadian Hills has a really nice country feel, in keeping with the local area. Families love the amenities within the community such as a children’s playground, outdoor fitness circuit, a dedicated off-leash dog park and a heritage dam that provides the perfect backdrop for Sunday picnics,” he says.

He adds AVJennings offers alternative housing styles within their communities throughout the region. “In addition to traditional detached housing, we also offer duplexes, terraces and dual-key dwellings,” he says. “This is effectively two separate dwellings on the one title – providing the option of the owner living in one space and renting out the other to a tenant. Alternatively, a young family can move into one side and the parents can move into the other. We are building more of these types of products as we believe they offer the perfect solution to multi-generational living.”

Meanwhile, Wilson says there is more demand than supply at the moment in south-west Sydney. “The region is very family oriented – usually young families,” he says. “It still has a rural feel, which comes from being on the fringe of Sydney and it is attracting buyers who are seeking that type of environment.”