Confidence is returning to the local property market despite stricter lending conditions in the wake of the Banking Royal Commission, a Sovereign Hills Display Village finance Q&A has heard
Attendees heard from local finance representatives who were asked about sweeping changes to home lending practices and the application process.
Westpac's Kathryn McGuire said the industry reforms were necessary.
"The new lending landscape will ensure people are lending to their ability," she explained.
"Benchmarking is the biggest change in the lending market, and this has made it harder for some people to obtain finance," added Holiday Coast Credit Union's Matt Lester.
"This scrutiny of your bank statements has meant we are now encouraging potential buyers to book two meetings; the first is a strategy meeting meeting to discuss a savings plan, identify your hurdles and overcome them, and the second is for the loan application."
'Plan your finance' was the biggest message for attendees.
"One important reason to prepare for your home loan application is that all applications and denials will be recorded on your credit file, Mortgage Choice's Gary Owens said.
"These can negatively impact your next application," he added.
Port Macquarie has experienced seven consecutive years of suburb growth to 2018.
According to property research company PriceFinder, Port Macquarie's median four-bedroom house price today is $575,000 while in nearby Thrumster the median is $565,000 based on the previous 12-month sales period.
In June the Reserve Bank of Australia reduced the cash rate to a record low of 1.25% in the face of subdued consumer spending and low inflation.
It is hoped lower interest rates, combined with the flagged first home buyers loan deposit scheme and the federal election result, will inject greater positivity in the housing market.
The Morrison Government plans to change the rules for first home buyers so they only need a deposit of five per cent instead of 20 per cent.
Owner of Laing and Simmons in Port Macquarie Chris Koch said there was a lot of people looking at property, even before the May 18 election result.
"There was still buyer activity prior to the election which was unusual," Mr Koch said.
"A lot of people had seen the market had dropped slightly so came out to buy."
Mr Koch said there are currently a lot of first home buyers and retirees in the market.
"A lot of retirees are buying for investment because interest rates are low," he said.
"They figure there is a better return buying property than putting money in the bank because interest rates are so low, not to mention the capital growth on the property."
Mr Koch warned buyers to be aware of the tightening of lending by the banks.
"They have become very, very tight," he said.
"Even after we sell people property they are waiting a long time from the banks to get approval."
Mr Koch said if Labor had been successful at the May 18 election, the property market would have changed dramatically.
"A whole lot of investors would no longer be able to afford to retain their investment if they weren't getting the benefits of negative gearing, but there would have been the possibility of a lot of new buyers in the market."
Labor had planned to limit negative gearing to new houses from January 2020.
Sovereign Hills' Land Sales Manager Luke Moreta said the election result had encouraged the local market.
"The election result has instilled confidence within our clients to move forward," said Mr Moreta said.
"We immediately experienced an increase in the number of clients with a real desire to purchase land and build a home here at Sovereign Hills.
"Just last week a Wollongong-based semi-retired couple we've been speaking with for six months was able to sell their home, which then allowed them to act on their Sovereign Hills land purchase."