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The Inner West Lifestyle, Without The ‘Inner’ - July 2021

By Guest Blogger, Leanne Pilkington, CEO,

Laing & Simmons and President REINSW


Whether you live there or not, the inner west conjures a distinct feeling to Sydneysiders. There’s the rustic, grungy vibe, the celebration of diversity, where people from all walks of life cross paths around the clock, the vibrant restaurant and bar scene, and the well-worn streets which always offer a new experience. People want to live there and those who do, don’t want to leave.

Markets have a way of responding to demand, REINSW President and Laing+Simmons CEO Leanne Pilkington says, and while the inner west may be geographically fixed, the lifestyle people value so much is filtering through to other suburban areas, presenting new opportunities for buyers.

The inner west is a tightly held enclave which has followed the growth trends of many other markets in recent times. Enquiry is strong, though it is always strong in the inner west.

In this intense competitive environment for buyers, many are being forced to broaden their view. What they are finding is greater choice. The vibrant lifestyle they crave so much is serving as an inspiration for other growing areas.

Some of these markets offer comparative affordability. Consider Norwest, for instance. In this growth area, there are multiple developments such as The Orchards occurring to not only bring new housing but also amenities like restaurants, bars and retail to the area. In Norwest specifically, there’s also waterfront appeal.

The price points are often below more established suburbs like the inner west. What buyers are banking on is the long-term success not just of a new development, but of the community. Developments focused on delivering complementary benefits to local communities therefore have increased buyer appeal.

Edmondson Park is another example. New developments in Sydney’s south west are a long way from the inner west but are designed to grow to offer a similar lifestyle. Local people having local dining and entertainment choices for a local social experience. Like people in the inner west enjoy.

Of course, businesses can attempt to deliver a vibe. Councils can support local operators with a vision for gentrification. Smart developers contribute by asking how a project can add value to a community, instead of viewing their projects in isolation. But people make a community’s identity.

And they are coming. Driven by greater choice of available homes at different price points, more singles, couples and young families are looking to well-connected western suburbs as a viable option.

In markets where this type of buyer profile exists, demand from renters to tap into the area’s lifestyle can often follow.

Suburbs like Erskineville, Newtown, Glebe and the like will always have weighty appeal to people. But people who would have previously thumbed their nose at suburbs like Blacktown, Rooty Hill and Liverpool are no longer doing so.

Where new developments are conceived in a way to add amenity to the community, they encourage people to both live and socialise in the local area. These new developments may be new now, but over time, as projects complete and residents settle, community identities are built and it’s typical for demand to swell. The capital upside develops too.


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