Wollongong August 2018

The month in review: Wollongong

By Herron Todd White
August 2018

Fifty years ago, the Illawarra was dealing with immigration pressures. Following World War II, the Commonwealth Government launched a migration program which saw a steady supply of immigrants to Australia, mostly from Europe. The Illawarra was a popular place to settle for those arriving under government assistance or by private means. A shortage of labour and materials initially led to the creation of a number of migrant camps such as those in Fairy Meadow, Unanderra and Warrawong.

As the population grew, there was a housing boom between the 1950s and 1970s including the establishment of a number of new land releases for residential dwellings. Areas in suburbs such as Fairy Meadow, Coniston and Warrawong comprise many 1960s and 1970s built red brick single level dwellings which was the style of the times.

Fast forward 50 years and we are seeing a number of different styles of new housing. Current issues which are shaping new housing in the Illawarra are the availability of suitable land along with affordability. The result is:

  • Smaller lots in new land subdivisions. Some lots are as small as 250 square metres while a large portion are less than 500 square metres.
  • Modern infill townhouse developments, typically in suburbs within close proximity to a CBD.
  • An unprecedented level of new construction of residential units in the Wollongong CBD.

A generation of settlers created and built new housing throughout the region.

Fifty years on and this generation is now starting to move on and new residents are purchasing homes which are 50 years old and often have only had one owner and are in original condition. The new owners are renovating these properties and the neighbourhoods are transitioning from older established neighbourhoods to trendy popular suburbs.


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