Village draws young folk from the inner city
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.”