Jessica Fairhurst and fiancé Daniel Fetterplace bought their first home at the start of March, just before the COVID-19 pandemic really took hold.
"I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing," she laughed of the timing.
First home buyers may be looking to score a bargain as the property market dips amid the pandemic, but an Illawarra economist has advised them to perhaps hold out a little longer.
Australian Bureau of Statistics housing finance data has indicated that the monthly value of new lending to investors has been trending lower since the beginning of 2020.
However, lending to first home buyers has been consistently increasing since January 2019.
Some commentators have suggested demand from first home buyers is being influenced by factors such as government stimulus.
"If someone has the propensity to be a first home buyer, then they should wait a few months because the market's going to soften," Alex Frino, Professor of Economics at the University of Wollongong said.
"One thing we know about softer markets is they make real estate more affordable.
"It's definitely a good time to be cashed up and ready to buy, if your conditions allow."
However, Prof Frino said Ms Fairhurst and her partner couldn't have foreseen the effects of the pandemic.
"If they'd waited a little bit more they may have had the upper hand in negotiating a price as the market weakens.
"But now's a good time to buy."
Ms Fairhurst, 27, and Mr Fetterplace, 26, bought a four-bedroom house in Bellambi, believing it to be a real growth area, and because they "wanted to be as close to the beach as possible".
"It's an old kind of 1950s fibro house that we'll do up over time," she said.
Ms Fairhurst said because of the house price, and the age of the property, they weren't eligible for government concessions in areas such as stamp duty.
"We went through a broker, which made everything a thousand times easier because (as) first home buyers we had no idea what we were doing," she laughed.
Ms Fairhurst said a lot of her friends have bought, while others were happy to rent for now. Meanwhile, some may bide their time in the current COVID climate.
"I feel like the market will drop a bit more, if you listen to everything. So some people are happy to ride it out and see what happens, see if it will go down a bit further."
Prof Frino said some commentators had suggested prices could fall by as much as 20-odd per cent.
"I don't believe it will fall that much in the Illawarra... I think there will be some strength taken out of the market, but I don't think it's going to be a massive fall."
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.