No, Wolli Creek is more than just a train station! It’s a centrally-located suburb with large apartments, fantastic transport links and comparatively low prices although it still remains under the radar in Sydney.
This is from an article about Wolli Creek published on Domain.com.au. But somehow, Wolli Creek remains something of a mystery to outsiders. I remember when I applied for a bank account the staff at the counter thought Wolli Creek is a rural suburb located hundreds of miles away.
I have to agree with Maria Hodgson of the Wolli Creek-based Day & Hodgson Real Estate:
“It’s not until you get down here that you realise how vibrant and active it is. Yes, there are a lot of apartment blocks down here, but it doesn’t feel overcrowded. You can still see the beautiful blue sky and enjoy the beautiful breezes and sunshine. It’s not like you’re in the middle of a ghetto. It’s very well designed.”
In the suburb’s early days, some prospective residents were put off by the lack of amenities within walking distance. But in the past five years, major conveniences – including a Woolworths, a liquor store, a chemist and restaurants – have bolstered Wolli Creek’s appeal. BTW Aldi will open their Wolli Creek store most likely by the end of 2017.
According to James Skurray, 42, these amenities have attracted greater numbers of permanent residents and enhanced Wolli Creek’s social atmosphere.
IT manager Skurray and his wife bought a two-bedroom, 10th-floor apartment in Wolli Creek in August last year and rent it out. They plan to move in when they retire.
“I’ve been following the development of the suburb for about 10 years,” he says. “I’ve been keeping an eye on it to see if it would develop more of a community feel, and recently it’s come up trumps in that department.”
Skurray cites the weekend markets and an open-air cinema in summer as recent improvements. “Even on the Facebook page, there’s a real sense of community,” he says. “Everybody’s talking to everybody about what’s happening.”
Ross Berry, 54, has lived in Wolli Creek for four years and says the change that has occurred during that time has been significant.
“There was one restaurant when I moved in,” says Berry, a public servant, “but now we’ve got about a dozen different eateries.”
Berry was initially attracted to Wolli Creek’s central location but says the views and nearby green space have made him truly fall in love with the area.
“From the higher floors, you have uninterrupted views to Botany Bay, the airport and the city,” he says. “And you’ll never lose your views because you’ve got the Cooks River, the airport and parkland that’s never going to be built out.”
Berry’s apartment overlooks Mount Olympus, Wolli Creek’s private park. “It’s a latch-key garden just for residents,” he says. “If you want total isolation, you just go there because it very rarely gets used. I don’t think many people realise they can access it.”
The news from Wolli Creek is not all positive. A resident died while crossing the busy Princes Highway on the suburb’s eastern border in December, strengthening calls for a pedestrian overpass to connect Wolli Creek with Arncliffe.
The highway forms a formidable physical and psychological barrier that can make the suburb seem isolated, despite its central location.
Nonetheless, Wolli Creek remains an attractive prospect for many. The current median price for apartments is $735,000, according to Domain data, and Hodgson says buyers get excellent value for money, especially for one-bedrooms.
“You’re looking at one-bedders around here in the high sixes, low sevens,” she says, “but they’re good sizes – they’re not your 35-square-metre apartments that you get in the city. They could be 50 square metres for a one-bedder, and that’s massive.”
A median rental price of $610 promises good yields for investors, and while the rapid and ongoing nature of development makes vacancy rates hard to gauge, anecdotal evidence suggests that demand for Wolli Creek’s better apartments is strengthening.
“We settled on a Tuesday [in August 2016] and had a tenant move in on the Friday,” says Skurray.