Sydney’s Inner West: Why Celebrities like Rebel Wilson Flock to its Suburbs

April 5, 2022

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The actress hopes that her gorgeous Sydney waterfront property in Birchgrove, an affluent enclave adjacent to Balmain, will sell for more than $9 million, and if the luxury features and finishes of the house are anything to go by - 180-degree views, a jetty, pontoon, mooring and a recent innovative renovation, which will have added value to the home - this is a fair expectation in a still buoyant Sydney property market.

The location of the celebrity pad in the Inner West has surprised many when Australian celebrities such as Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe are usually tempted by the palatial homes in the Eastern Suburbs.

But upon closer inspection of Rebel’s post on Instagram, it is obvious that the location and vibe of the Inner West are what she enjoyed most about living in the area.

Creatives and progressives love the Inner West

In fact, over the years the area has become a magnet for young, progressive property owners, despite its less auspicious start as a working-class area to house employees of the local shipbuilding, mining and engineering industries.

Since the decline of those industries in the 1960s, a steady migration of mainly young professionals has gentrified the Inner West suburbs by converting traditional worker’s cottages and “row” or terrace houses into the stylish, multi-million homes we see on the market today.

Young buyers, drawn to the café lifestyle of the area, its vibrant pubs, vintage shops, eclectic range of restaurants and excellent choice of schools, have created one of the hippest areas in Sydney.

The vibrant cafe lifestyle of Sydney's Inner West is a magnet for young, progressive property owners

Many suburbs are still affordable

Another benefit of the area is that though the average price of a house in Sydney sits currently around the $1.6 million mark, many in the Inner West suburbs remain below that figure. And though property prices in Birchgrove are premium – because of their location on the water - suburbs like Petersham, Marrickville, Leichhardt and Newtown are still financially viable for young professionals and families.

Each suburb has its own unique style

While Balmain is the hub of the hipster, Newtown is the “colourful quarter” of the Bohemian and couldn’t be more different to the relaxed ambience of Birchgrove. Thanks to its evasion of the CBD lockout laws, the location of the Enmore Theatre, its diverse offerings of live entertainment and the “ethnic eatery paradise” found on King St – or “Eat Street” as it has become known in the media - it is establishing itself as the new clubland of Sydney, a vibrant, after-hours destination that rarely sleeps.

Newtown’s population is diverse. Students from Sydney University mix with professionals, performers and academics, and notable figures from the area include Aussie bands The Whitlams and Sticky Fingers as well as the current leader of the ALP, Anthony Albanese, who lives in Camperdown.

Anthony Albanese lives in Camperdown

No two suburbs are the same, which means the Inner West has something to offer every buyer. However, the attributes these suburbs share are what make it the community locals have come to love.

These include:

  • History and natural beauty – With stunning vistas of Sydney Harbour on the doorstep of many suburbs and its heritage architecture, the Inner West offers a diverse landscape, from the more tranquil, waterfront lifestyle of suburbs such as Birchgrove to the hedonistic experience of Newtown.
  • Diversity – The many migrants who have made the Inner West their home have brought with them a wealth of different cultures. And though exclusive suburbs like Birchgrove remain the playground of celebrities, high earners and retirees, with the median age of the area's other suburbs in the mid-thirties, they attract a more diverse demographic.
  • Transport – There are ferries to the city from several wharves in Balmain as well as connections by bus to other areas of the city. Most of the other Inner West suburbs, including Newtown, are serviced by train.
  • Proximity to the CBD – A trip to the city takes 10-15 minutes by car outside of rush hour.
  • Affordability – In the long-term, suburbs on the water or in proximity to the CBD are rarely hit hard by fluctuations in the market and, currently, the average house price in the Inner West remains lower than the Sydney median. With an excess of terrace houses ripe for renovation, these suburbs are potential gold mines in terms of continued growth.
  • Inclusivity – Renowned for their progressive thinking and working-class values, these suburbs are a haven for those in search of an accepting, embracing community.

Celebrities value their privacy, so they're more likely to buy and sell off-market

One of the best ways to hear about listings like Rebel’s is to stay in the loop with Listing Loop, the one-stop shop for buying and selling property.

And it is easy to become a member by simply signing up for free via or downloading our app.

If the latest prediction from the Commonwealth Bank of a 12% drop in the Sydney property market by 2023 is right, it is time to look at these suburbs NOW. Rebel's decision to sell is due to the logistics of work commitments overseas, but there are many reasons celebrities list their properties and many hidden treasures to be discovered in Sydney like Birchgrove. When they do, you must be prepared to act quickly by:

1) Keeping abreast of the latest off-market and pre-market listings in your property hub, and

2) Using our app to receive real-time alerts for just listed properties

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