Russell Vale is an up-and-coming suburb that appears to be a gateway into the northern Illawarra.
Regarding the northern suburbs, Cristian Carvana from The Agency Illawarra said Russell Vale is, “like the Coniston of Wollongong, in terms of it being one of the cheaper suburbs to get into out that way”.
Mr Carvana said they were finding that Russell Vale is a gateway for buyers looking to get into the northern suburbs, “but without such a drastic price tag attached to it”.
“You’ve got Woonona and Bulli next door, further north, and the prices can spiral out of control there,” he said.
“Whereas Russell Vale in the past few years has had really good growth, but it's still relatively affordable compared to neighbouring suburbs like Bulli, Woonona and even East Corrimal.
“So it’s still got proximity to Thirroul shopping, Wollongong CBD and employment there, and it's not too far from the beach. But it doesn't have the price tag that East Bulli, East Corrrimal and East Woonona has.”
Among Mr Carvana’s current listings is a two-bedroom townhouse at 6/39 Collaery Road, Russell Vale.
It has a price guide of $550,000 to $595,000.
Mr Carvana said it had proven particularly popular among first home buyers from both the Illawarra and Sydney, due to its overall presentation and proximity to the beach, Thirroul, Wollongong CBD and the M1.
“Because it’s a townhouse, the downsizer market doesn’t latch on to something like that with the stairs," he said.
Ray White Woonona principal Troy Johnson agreed that Russell Vale was often an entry point for prospective buyers looking to purchase in the northern suburbs.
He said those seeking to buy there spanned from downsizers to families.
“It certainly is that first step out of Corrimal into the northern suburbs,” he said.
“Once you get into Russell Vale and Woonona, you’re not into that industry; light industrial, commercial... It’s just your tree-line streets and residential.
“It’s that first step out of that busy zone.”
Among Mr Johnson’s current listings is 52 Keerong Avenue, Russell Vale.
The three-bedroom house has a price guide of $810,000 to $830,000.
Featuring an approximately 1189sqm land parcel, the opportunity exists to further extend the existing property or construct a second dwelling to the rear (subject to council approval).
“They’re very long blocks on that side, so pretty much that whole side of the street lends itself to further development, which has happened both sides of this property,” Mr Johnson said.