According to the latest ABS figures new home lending was up 8.9 per cent from the previous month in July - the biggest increase in 11 years, and first home buyers made up around one-in-three of all owner-occupier buyers across Australia.
That trend could prove a windfall for Armidale property owners.
Peter Georkas from Hutchinson & Harlow Real Estate in Armidale says the local real estate market is growing for several reasons.
"There is a lot more activity from first home buyers following the recent government incentives, and we've seen a major increase in sales of blocks of land since the $25,000 for building was announced," Mr Georkas said.
"Add that to the $10,000 first home buyers are already getting for purchasing a new home and they're getting $35,000 which is great."
Mr Georkas said these government incentives have definitely made a difference to the local market.
"We've sold numerous blocks of land that have been sitting there for some time," he said.
"Some subdivisions have been for sale for 12 months and suddenly they've had a move on and now there are only two blocks left. But there is still lots of land available."
Armidale has not run out of land.
In a trend seen across the region, Armidale is seeing close to the same amount of sales as last year but there are fewer listings on the market.
"Through COVID people kept purchasing but people stopped listing," Mr Georkas said.
"So we've now got the lowest number of homes on the market in Armidale since 2004."
But it is neither a buyer nor a seller's market he says.
"It's an even market which is a good market to be working in because there's some good buying for purchasers, and a good market for owners selling."
A misconception about what the market would do during the pandemic is the cause of the current listing shortage Mr Georkas thinks.
"Through COVID a lot more people were of the opinion ( through reading media) that property values were going to drop," he said.
"So people stopped listing because they were not interested in selling their property below value."
Then the demand from tree changers started he says.
"We also got an increase of people moving from major cities to regional areas because if you're in the later stage of your life, and not wanting to travel by public transport or drive in congested traffic, then you're better off moving to the country," Mr Georkas said.
"Travelling from your home to the shop and going back home is so easy in Armidale - even the outskirts of town are only five kilometres away.
"The other thing is a lot of the people coming were asset rich but cash poor, so they can sell their property in Sydney for over a million dollars then purchase a brand new home up here for around $450,000 or less, and put some money in the bank."
All this has meant the median house price value in Armidale has gone up by 5.1 per cent in the last 12 months.
stock available on the market is down to 416 properties this week
"This takes it back to what prices were three years ago, but stock available on the market is down to 416 properties this week, which is a decrease of 20.5 per cent on the number of listings three years ago, and 8.8 per cent less than this time last year," Mr Georkas said.
The current COVID pandemic has also changed the way people find the home of their dreams - particularly if it is in another city.
"We are doing a lot more inspections using the iPad, and then people are coming up to have a look once they have found the right property," Mr Georkas said
"Last year you would have come to Armidale to look at about 15 homes but now you're doing all your research using technology, then narrowing it down to about two properties for a final inspection prior to purchasing.
"I always do the iPad inspections live so I can show people what they want to look at. We're doing less inspections but getting the same results."
What people want most from a tree change though (apart from a boosted bank account) seems to be convenience Mr Georkas says.
"The majority of the tree changers are older people who want properties that are level, and if they can get it within walking distance to the shops they're loving it," he said.
"And any property that has reverse cycle air conditioning and solar will sell."