The Australian economy may have faced its fair share of ups and downs lately, but there’s been one sector that has offered support even during the toughest of times: Property. While the mining boom might have come to an end and the global share market has faced difficulties, it is real estate that has provided the economic support the nation needs.

Moving into the final quarter of the year, the market is still very much working in buyers’ favour. We’ve put together four reasons why now could be the right time to think about applying for your first home loan.

1. Owner-occupier lending is gathering strength

There’s good news for borrowers, as the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) point to a growing number of loan approvals for owner occupiers. Between June and July this year, the number of loans granted marked a 0.3 per cent rise in seasonally adjusted terms.

2. Lending to investors is being restricted

There had been concerns that people weren’t able to receive the funding they needed to buy property because lending to investors was so strong. However, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority took steps to prevent this in December last year – and the effects are already being felt.

The Reserve Bank of Australia met on September 1, where board members revealed a significant decline in lending for investment housing.

3. Interest rates are still low

The official cash rate was reduced to 2 per cent on May 6, and conditions in the wider economy mean it has remained at this level ever since. Many analysts believe it will be a while before rates are significantly increased, giving mortgage brokers an opportunity to show you some of the most affordable deals.

Chief Economist at the Housing Industry Association Harley Dale noted: “Regardless of whether the interest rate gun stays in the rack or not, the key is that super low borrowing costs are here to stay throughout 2015-16.”

4. Some capitals have seen price declines

If you’ve got your eye on buying a capital city property, then depending on where you buy, you could find prices are becoming more affordable. The August CoreLogic RP Data Hedonic Home Value Index pointed to year-on-year falls in the value of homes in Perth, Darwin and Canberra.

This is where it pays to do your research before deciding where to make your first property purchase. Play your cards right and you could be living in a state capital for less, putting you in the ideal position to benefit from any future price rises.

You can contact a Smartline Mortgage Adviser on 13 14 97 for home loan advice. Or complete our call request form and we’ll call you!

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.