First home buyers in Australia are at a decade-high as low interest rates and government assistant schemes have helped people take their first step onto the ladder.
But on the back of slow house price growth in 2019, prices are forecast to rise and this is a looming prospect for first home buyers.
Some Canberrans have been able to get ahead of a price surge by taking advantage of the federal government's first home loan deposit scheme.
The scheme allows first home buyers to gain a loan with as little as a 5 per cent deposit and buyers are exempt from lenders mortgage insurance.
Only 10,000 first home buyers can access the scheme per year and in Canberra they are restricted to properties under $500,000.
Layne Borrett and Grace Hancock are first home buyers that have taken advantage of the scheme.
"We have been looking for two years but in terms of being able to buy and having the savings it's only been the last few months because the home loan deposit scheme has been able to give us a chance to get in the market," Ms Hancock said.
The couple had their eyes on the scheme since Prime Minister Scott Morrison pitched the policy in a pre-election speech last year.
The government opened up 3000 spots in January and Mr Borrett and Ms Hancock jumped onto the application process to secure a place.
Ms Hancock said without the scheme it would have taken at least another year to save up, and she said they were also conscious of prices rising again.
"We're pretty good with our budget and we have a good projection of how much we would save and we have been saving for the last couple of years," she said.
"If we were to look at doing it without it we were looking at another 12 months to two years."
While the first home buyer scheme has helped people into the market, experts do not think it will help with overall housing affordability.
Corelogic head of residential research Eliza Owen said, "The consensus is that helping first home buyers overcome a large deposit hurdle does not address affordability, because it ignores the root causes that make that hurdle so high in the first place."
But Ms Owen said it would be beneficial to those on the scheme. She said although buyers would pay more interest it would balance out as the higher interest could be less than rent. Price rises could also exceed the extra interest.
Most house price forecasts have tipped growth for the Canberra market in 2020. AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said house prices could rise by as much as 10 per cent.
LJ Hooker Woden principal Dan Cooper said with Canberra having the highest rents in the nation first home buyers were keen to get on the property ladder.
"The market is definitely geared towards buying a property instead of renting one at the moment," he said.
"First home buyers are understanding that at the moment and are acting on it."
First home buyers made up almost one-third of all owner occupiers in the ACT latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show.