NEARLY 1000 first home buyers bought in to the Great Australian Dream in Bendigo in 2019 using Victorian grants.
It was part of a 10 per cent jump in first home buyer lending since 2017 and came as the state battled a general downturn in the property market.
Just over 950 households took advantage of stamp duty discounts and a $20,000 first homeowners grant available to regional buyers in the 11 months to December 2019, the Victorian government says.
They saved $13 million in 2019 because of the reforms enacted last January to get more people into the property market.
The changes helped 396 householes in the 3551 postcode, which encompasses Bendigo's major growth suburb Maiden Gully, Huntly and Strathfieldsaye, according to the Victorian government.
In postcode 3550, which covers much of Bendigo, Two-hundred-and-fifty got grants.
Postcode 3555 attracted 164 households. The postcode stretches through Golden Square, Kangaroo Flat, Golden Gully and Big Hill.
Further north, 146 households bought up in in postcode 3556. The postcode includes Eaglehawk and an area roaming northwest to Campbells Forest.
The Victorian postcode to garner the most interest was 3064, which covers Craigiburn, Donnybrook, Roxburgh Park, Kalkallo and Mickleham.
Over 2600 first home buyers bought property there.
"This ground-breaking initiative has supported many Victorian families since it was first introduced, saving them more than $1.72 billion - with more to come," Victoria's treasurer Tim Pallas said.
In 2017-18, 225 households purchased properties in greater Bendigo using first home owner grants and 686 for stamp duty and other concessions. The year before, it was 85 for the grants and 356 for concessions.
Meanwhile, the federal government will widen its first home buyers loan deposit scheme starting on New Year's Day.
It wants to bring more people on low incomes to enter the property market by dropping deposits as low as five per cent.
Households can take 10 years to save enough money for a home deposit, the federal government says.
A five per cent deposit will mean a regional Victorian buyer would need to save $18,750 to purchase a property worth $375,000, according to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.