New Home Buyers are favouring these sprawling residential estates, main-street gun shop and abundance of small churches which may bring to mind a town in America’s old wild west. But the Sydney suburb of Horsley Park – about 10 kilometres north-west of Liverpool in the Fairfield council area – has a distinctly Australian flavour.

A few doors down from Horsley Park Gun Shop is Lolly World, which specialises in hard-to-find Australian sweets. On Saturday mornings, locals descend on the WithLove Cafe to grab one of its famed bacon and egg rolls.

Horsley Park has traditionally flown under the radar, but its profile received a boost when the results of the 2016 census were released. The data shows that Horsley Park is one of the most religious suburbs in Australia – in fact, only 5.9 per cent of residents said they had “no religion”.

Our Lady of Victories in Horsley Park caters mainly to Italian and Maltese communities established after WWII.

A whopping 87.7 per cent of Horsley Park residents are Christian, making the suburb more devout than Sydney’s traditional Bible-belt district of The Hills. And 61 per cent of residents classed themselves as Catholic. Other places of worship in Horsley Park include the Spanish Community Bible Church and Chung Chen Chinese Christian Church.

This six-bedroom house sold in early 2016 for $2.8 million. Horsley Park has become attractive to buyers looking for vacant blocks to build their dream homes.

According to Sargon David, an agent at LJ Hooker Horsley Park, the suburb’s large blocks and relative proximity to Liverpool are increasingly attracting affluent new home buyers.

“There are a lot of prestigious homes here,” he says. “We’re seeing businesspeople, doctors, solicitors … upper-class people. They’re buying blocks and building massive mansions. So many people want to move in here, but there’s not much stock available.”

Formerly rural or vacant property has become particularly sought after. “In the past couple of years, a lot of people have been looking for vacant blocks to build the dream new home. They’re paying really good money for an empty block and then spending one or two million dollars on a house.”

The well-regarded Horsley Park Public School and the just-built St Narsai Assyrian Christian College may attract a growing number of families in the years ahead.

Horse-loving Sydneysiders may have visited Horsley Park without even realising: the Sydney International Equestrian Centre, the largest facility of its kind in Australia, sits in the suburb’s south-east corner.

As for Horsley Park Gun Shop, its roots in the suburb can be traced back more than 30 years, when this part of Greater Sydney was predominantly rural. Today, it is one of the few gun shops in NSW and draws customers from across the city and state.

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