The bayside suburb of Botany enjoys an enviable location, just 11 kilometres south of the Sydney CBD and perched near to picturesque beaches of Little Bay, La Perouse, Maroubra and South Coogee. Flanked by Banksmeadow and Mascot, the suburb with the working-class roots is now punctuated with parks and cool cafes and has all the vibrancy of city living with the pulse of a small village.
Local resident Melissa McCormack is an associate agent at McGrath Edgecliff, which she says has a lot of Botany properties on its books. McCormack agrees the suburb has experienced significant residential growth due to its favourable location and proximity to the city of Sydney, airport and beaches. She says there has also been a surge in demand from first-home buyers who have been priced out of the eastern suburbs.
“I love Botany. I love my house, my street and my neighbours. I love how I can walk to the coffee shop and not feel like I have been swallowed up by suburbia. I couldn’t live anywhere else,” says McCormack.
“There are great parks and a choice of great schools and local pubs, pools and cafes. I have three kids and they go to school in the suburb. It’s the sort of place where everyone knows your name.
While a lot of Botany residents have lived in the suburb long term, the demographic is shifting as younger people move in.
“Botany is now seeing a lot of interest with first-home buyers who can’t afford to buy in Little Bay or Maroubra,” says McCormack. “You can add half a million to the price tag if you are looking at places like Maroubra, which presents Botany as having a great price point.”
Kylie Ostle, creator of the Facebook page Botany Bay Mums, has also been in the area for the past decade. Ostle, who lives on the fringes of Botany in neighbouring Mascot, says she created the Facebook page as a way of connecting better with her local community.
“I’ve lived in the local area for the best part of 10 years. When we bought in Mascot, Botany was an undiscovered gem. Now, there’s a real sense of community. I started the Facebook page last year to tap into the fact there are so many new residents in the area. We have around 2000 members now – all mums who are looking for community support or recommendations of where to eat, drink and shop,” adds Ostle, who has three children, aged five, three and 10 months.
“Most of the mums who joined my closed Facebook group moved from the eastern suburbs because they wanted more space and more land. The fact that a lot of Botany’s residents have moved here from elsewhere means it’s a very open and welcoming community.”
Ostle says she and her husband moved from Rosebery because it was more affordable. Despite being close to Sydney’s CBD, the south-east of Sydney feels like “a world away”.
“Botany is close to the beaches; there is a lot of green space and parklands, the schools are fantastic and the access to the city is extremely attractive,” says Ostle, who also runs a networking group for women called Mum Society.
“There’s a great Italian trattoria, Cappano’s, and Botany Buzz is my favourite cafe. They bring your coffee to your car when you have sleeping children and deliver the most incredible fruit and vegetable boxes,” she says
While the Botany area has long been associated with industry, Ostle says it is changing as new townhouses and apartments offer first-home buyers access to Sydney’s cosmopolitan lifestyle. “Botany is within walking distance of great cafes, parks and schools and offers a great lifestyle because of its location,” she says.
Sean Dowling, associate director of new projects at Ausin Group, says the amenity of marrying an eastern suburbs postcode with an inner-urban lifestyle has made Pemberton on the Park an attractive proposition for first home-buyers. Dowling agrees Botany is on first-home buyers’ radars because of its proximity to the city, parkland, schools, shops and beaches.
“Botany is the best option of staying in the eastern suburbs for those who face being priced out. Botany has strong potential for capital growth, is more affordable than Alexandria and Rosebery and it’s starting to get a real village feel,” says Dowling.
Dowling says future residents of Pemberton on the Park, which comprises 268 one, two and three-bedroom apartments, will be well-placed to take advantage of the suburb’s revitalisation.
“Botany has become one of Sydney’s most liveable suburbs. Sir Joseph Banks Park sits on the Botany Bay foreshore, and the suburb boasts 28 hectares of green space,” he says.
“A growing network of cycle paths also connects Pemberton on the Park to the University of NSW and it’s near to fishing spots, aquatic centres and Mascot train station.”
Dowling says the people who are coming in the door of the display suite, located at 1617 Botany Road, Botany, appreciate the fact the development, designed by Krikis Tayler Architects, is low-rise, with internal gardens all the way through.
He says Pemberton on the Park’s prospective buyers appreciate the well-thought-out apartments, many of which come with two car park spaces, and the fact there are communal areas where they can connect with their neighbours. “The developers [Toplace] have also committed to building a park, which will be right outside residents’ front door,” says Dowling.
The chief economist at Domain Group, Dr Andrew Wilson, says the median house price in Botany is now about $1.4 million, while the median house price for a unit is $790,000.
He says sales data shows that in the past five years, house prices in the suburb of Botany have risen 96.1 per cent, while unit prices have climbed 35 per cent. Domain data also shows that the average age of residents in Botany now falls in the 20-39 years bracket.