After nearly 60 years of residing in the suburb, David James says he's "always been very proud" to live in Corrimal.
"My grandparents and parents lived in Corrimal, and I was born here and have lived here until the age of 59," he said.
His wife Cathy, originally from Albion Park Rail, joked that she "married into Corrimal" 33 years ago.
"I've really liked the community aspect of living in Corrimal," she said.
"Everyone's really friendly - you walk down the street and people say hello to you. And we're a short drive from the beach."
Mr James, a semi-retired carpenter, has lived in the same Wilga Street home for 36 years.
Mr James said he felt many out of area buyers were now discovering Corrimal.
"We've seen people come and go, the older people in and out of the street, and we're at the stage now where we're going to be the older people, and all the younger people are coming in around us, which is great," he said.
"There's lots of younger families wanting to come down, wanting to live here now... Corrimal has always been a great place to live when you've got a young family, because you're so close to everything. The schools, the supermarkets, the pools, the beach, everything.
"All the young families moving in here now are amazing."
In the coming weeks, the couple will be listing their home for sale, as they've bought a property on the South Coast.
"We're just moving on," Mr James said. "Our family's grown up, our kids have all gone and left, and it's just time to move on.
"I'll be sad to leave, but it's just time to do it."
Three years ago, builder Mark Banks and his family relocated from Gunnedah and bought a block at 6A Wilford Street, Corrimal.
He built the home at the site, where they have lived for the past two years.
It's now on the market (see below).
Although its popularity was growing, the 40-year-old believed Corrimal was still an under-rated suburb.
"You look at Towradgi, Balgownie and that, they've gone ahead, but Corrimal hasn't quite yet," he said. "East Corrimal is getting discovered, and Bellambi, you can't get much if anything for under a million dollars.
"Corrimal, it's got everything. You're at Bellambi boat ramp in five minutes, the beaches in five minutes. It's kind of the central spot.
"You're on Memorial Drive in a couple of minutes, the Wollongong CBD is close.
"There's a lot of younger families around there. Coming down from Gunnedah, we didn't know a lot of families, but everyone's been so welcoming."
Mr Banks said they were moving to nearby East Corrimal to be closer to the water, after he "fell in love" with the location while building a duplex there.
According to CoreLogic, the median sales price of houses in the area is $850,000.
The median sales price was $775,000 in May 2020, and $850,000 a year later.
Neil Webster from Stone Real Estate Illawarra said Corrimal was a suburb on the rise.
He said Corrimal was appealing to a mix of people looking to upsize, and buyers being priced out of Thirroul/Bulli.
"People are wanting that same sort of style home or location, and they're creeping a little further south.
"Where it is changing a lot is since the coke works closed down. That area is really getting gentrified.
"It was always sort of frowned upon, because of the coke works, of being more of a blue-collar area. But we're seeing as that shift's happening, for people who are getting priced out of the further northern suburbs, they're moving into that central part."
The proposed residential development at the Corrimal Coke Works,an 18-hectare site, is envisaged to includemore than 500 residencesand nine hectares of parkland.
Before the housing can be built, the site would need to be rezoned from heavy industrial.
The proposed rezoning recently went on public exhibition, and Wollongong City Council is expected to make a determination within the coming months.
Paul Boultwood from the Corrimal Chamber of Commerce was in favour of the proposal, saying the rezoning would rejuvenate the community and create housing options.
"There's a very limited number of houses for sale in Corrimal, and it just means the price booms. I would like to see Corrimal and that coke works, if it goes through, I would like to see it include houses for people on low incomes.
"I would like to see it create a range of housing options. Anything we can do to get more people into the area to spend money at the local shops would be a positive too, to help the community."
Also, Matt Borg from Matt Borg Real Estate said the Corrimal Town Centre Plan 2015-2025, which includes a series of ongoing streetscape works and shopfront improvements, would boost perception of the suburb.
He said parties interested in Corrimal were primarily investors and first home buyers.
"Corrimal has been one of those enigmas for some time," he said.
"Everything has been developing or progressing around Corrimal, prices have been going up.. But I've noticed in the past 12 months, there are million-dollar properties in Corrimal now... In the past 12 months it's exploded.
"These properties that are getting $1 million, $1.1 million, $1.2 million (now), were probably selling for around $800,000."
Recent sales in the suburb include 90a Wilga Street for $1 million, 2 Yuill Avenue for $1,583,500, and 36 Railway Street for $750,000.
Mr Webster is the selling agent for 6A Wilford Street.
The five-bedroom plus study, and three bathroom-home will be auctioned on Saturday, and has a price guide of $2,030,000.
"It's basically a Sandon Point/Bulli Beach-style home, just situated on the Corrimal escarpment instead," Mr Webster said. "It's a beautiful home, custom-built."
He said the home was attracting a mix of Sydney and local interest.
"The proximity to the escarpment is the big attraction.
"The owner hasn't spared a cent on it - everything has been done to such a high standard."
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Mr Borg is the selling agent for 203/7 Russell Street, Corrimal.
The two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment has a price guide of $635,000 to $655,000.
He said it was drawing interest from investors and first home buyers.
Also on the market is 28 Angel Street, Corrimal, with a price guide of $1,060,000 to $1,160,000.
Set on 601 square metres, it contains three bedrooms and one bathroom.
Selling agent, Adam McMahon from Dignam Real Estate said the interest was predominantly from local buyers.
"It's so well-located, in a quiet spot, and a close walk to the CBD where you've got great cafes and shops," he said.
"It's well-built and north-facing."