ALMOST half of first home buyers who take advantage of a federal government scheme prefer the country to the city.
Those with a deposit of just five per cent look to places like Tamworth for their first homes, First Home Loan Deposit Schemes data reveals.
In Tamworth, Burke and Smyth real estate business owner Jason Wherritt said the market has started to pick up again after the royal commission into bank misconduct dealt borrowers a blow.
"With the scheme available it's just given that edge to people to be able to get into the market," he said.
"For a lot of people the value is here and it's a bit of a confidence builder to not spend the extra money on lender's mortgage insurance."
The scheme launched at the beginning of the year and aims to help up to 10,000 people enter the market each year.
Loan guarantees of up to $700,000 are available for Sydney properties.
The limit is $450,000 in the rest of the state, a price that Mr Wherritt thinks is right.
"Because of our price ranges you can buy a nice home in a fairly good area in that high $200,000 bracket, which is affordable for someone in their 20's," he said.
"I think the capping is fair, and if people can afford to buy in Sydney at $700,000 or more they don't really need assistance."
Perhaps surprisingly, 34 per cent of applicants were aged between 25 and 29.
Free standing houses are the most popular purchase with the scheme, which suggests people are buying existing homes, rather than new homes.
LJ Hooker director Sam Spokes said a lot of people don't want the added stress of building a new home.
"If you can see yourself living in an existing home, you can be there within six weeks," he said.
"There are still first-home buyers who want that new feel in estate-type living.
"This scheme just gives people a helping hand to get that ball rolling so they can hit the market now and boost the economy."
Melbourne buyers can spend up to $600,000 on a home in the city.