Maitland real estate is on the brink of a major boom with recent interest rate cuts paving the way for a flood of first home buyers to enter the property market and big bucks for sellers.
Two agents The Mercury spoke to welcomed the cut - one forecasting a spike in property sales, the other happy with the decision but watching the market with great trepidation.
Last week The Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates for the first time in almost three years. The cash interest rate moved from 1.5 per cent to 1.25 per cent.
Michael Haggarty of David Haggarty First National said the news was great for anyone who has been sitting on the fence.
"Now is the time for them to get in particularly with the government making things easier for first home buyers with a five per cent deposit and cutting down the mortgage insurance," Mr Haggarty said. "Combined, these should allow those sitting on their hands to get into the market."
He said the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), has "eased off" the lending criteria for investors which points to a lift in the property market locally.
"Maitland has been one of the hot spots for investment and property prices over the past five to 10 years but this year it's labelled as hot spot for property investment, value and good returns," Mr Haggarty said.
"The Maitland market is in pretty good shape particularly with the Libs back in government. Business operators I have spoken to who may have been Labor supporters believe Labor turned its back on them with a lack of policies to support business."
Mr Haggarty concedes the market has slowed but not as bad as Sydney's. "We are affordable. I think people were concerned with Bill Shorten's proposal to abolish negative gearing which upholds the market. The majority of people with investment properties are mums and dads trying to cushion themselves for retirement.
"I've spoken to mine workers, most always voted Labor. They also feel they have been ignored after the ALP got into bed with The Greens. The majority of these people have two and three investment properties to set themselves up for later in life," he said. "If the market does drop a per cent or five that's okay because the Maitland market always bounces back."
Kane Bradley of L J Hooker Maitland begs to differ. "These rates have dropped for a reason and that's because the economy is not great," he said. "The market's not good - it's a cool market and I don't know if the interest rate decrease will change things greatly.
"We're looking at mums and dads with mortgages who can't afford to feed families. That's why these rates have been dropped. It certainly doesn't mean buyers will flood back because there is no wage growth. Dropping the rate will help put food on tables and pay for energy bills that are going through the roof.
"The one thing that will influence first home buyers other than the interest rate drop will be Scott Morrison's incentive on subsiding their 20% deposit," Mr Bradley said.
"A while back we had open houses attracting groups of six to 10. Now it's one or none on a Saturday. The market is that flat it's not funny."