Demand for apartments has been so strong within one of the city's newest and largest residential complexes, the first stage is almost sold out.
Of the 105 units that comprise towers A and B of The Vantage development, 101 have been sold, with prices from $375,000 up to $555,000.
Agent Chris Clayton, of Clayton Real Estate, said the apartments, ranging from one bedroom to three bedrooms, had attracted many Sydney-based Chinese buyers because of the complex's proximity to the CBD.
"Two of the biggest factors in sales have been the closeness to the railway, which is particularly so for Sydney purchasers, and the fact that it's easy access to anywhere in Wollongong on foot, car, train or bus," he said.
"We've had a lot of Sydney Chinese buyers. They all travel down by train.
"It's also been very popular with uni students and first home buyers. We've sold about 60 units to first home buyers and 50 per cent of those were Chinese."
Construction only started on The Vantage at 22-32 Gladstone Avenue last year yet some buyers have already moved into the completed stage-one block.
Sydney-based restaurateur John Poulos and his fiancee bought an apartment in the complex and moved in last month.
Mr Poulos, who commutes to Botany for work, said the couple moved after his fiancee found secure work at Port Kembla.
Mr Poulos previously lived at Potts Point for 12 years and Sutherland for two years.
"We found the Illawarra lifestyle really attractive," he said. "We are close to the city and the beach. We just like the area."
Construction on the second stage, which includes towers C and D, has started and is expected to be completed by July.
When the second stage is finished, the development will consist of 207 residential apartments and nine commercial suites.
Mr Clayton said more than 50 apartments in the second stage had been sold off the plan.
The ground floor of both blocks has been dedicated to commercial tenants including a medical centre, cafe, restaurant and shops.
Nicolas Daoud's construction company bought the disused Dairy Farmers Co-op factory site in Gladstone Avenue late in 2009.
The factory, which processed milk and milk products, was built for $20,000 in 1939.
Mr Daoud's company has built a number of residential towers in Wollongong including the Landmark building on the corner of Crown and Station streets and Elements on the corner of Bank and Corrimal streets.
Mr Daoud also recently bought the old Dwyers site, intending to build a residential and commercial development.