Vil­lage draws young folk from the in­ner city

The Weekend Australian - - INQUIRER - SOFIA GRONBECH WRIGHT

The fringe vil­lage of Cob­bitty, 60km south­west of Syd­ney, isn’t ex­actly gen­tri­fy­ing but it has un­der­gone a bit of a boom. Smashed av­o­cado even has made it on to the lo­cal bake­house menu.

What was once acreage land has been sub­di­vided, al­low­ing the con­struc­tion of new homes, and while the land is cheap young fam­i­lies are mov­ing in.

De­mog­ra­pher Bernard Salt has iden­ti­fied Cob­bitty as one of the great out­liers in in­come growth in the coun­try. The post­code un­der­went a jump in me­dian weekly in­come of 48 per cent from 2011 to 2016 while some in­ner-city sub­urbs ex­pe­ri­enced drops in real terms as stu­dents moved in.

Alex Zar­balis, 23, works in her par­ents’ con­ve­nience store with Syd­ney Lind­say, 22, and they say the tradie boom in the store has been ob­vi­ous.

“We can see from the sub­di­vi­sion de­vel­op­ment there has been an in­crease in tradies com­ing into the store,” Zar­balis says.

“A lot of the peo­ple mov­ing into the newly de­vel­oped area seem to be younger fam­i­lies. The sell­ing point of the de­vel­op­ment is that you can walk to school from it. On the bill­board it says ‘Live Here, Walk to School’.”

Her mother, Deb­bie Zar­balis, at­tributes the in­come in­crease to a high turnover of res­i­dents.

“We’ve no­ticed a lot of peo­ple sell­ing up and mov­ing. They’ve lived here so long and they can re­ally make a lot of money by sell­ing and mov­ing else­where,” she says.

“I think the de­mo­graphic has been chang­ing of late be­cause of a high turnover in real es­tate. You will have places for sale for about two days, then they’re sold.”

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