Longtime residents of one major regional NSW centre are wondering if their city is fast becoming a tale of three cities - with a homeowner class, an absent investor class and a stuck-renting-forever class.
Real estate agent Ash Brown works in the Central West NSW city of Orange and knows full well, out-of-towners didn't only enjoy the food and wine on offer but they also surveyed the local property landscape.
Postcode details revealed many visitors came from Sydney and Canberra, and they are part of the reason the Orange property market has held firm and continued to grow through COVID.
"There are a lot more investors out at the moment," Mr Brown said.
For some, this is terrific news.
"If you own property, you'd be sitting with a smile on your face - your property is going up," he said.
But for others, not so great.
"If you're trying to get into the market, it's very frustrating, and we're seeing that with first home buyers," Mr Brown said.
"They're our biggest market at the moment and they're missing out as properties are sold within hours or days [of being listed].
"We're seeing that a fair bit, with the first home owners who are getting some help from their parents - they're finding it very frustrating."
Mr Brown said although Sydney property investors wouldn't pay silly prices, they are "often less price sensitive".
Molly Vardanega and her husband Peter Reid are hopeful of soon signing a contract for their first property.
"It's been really hard," she said. "You're definitely competing with people that are coming from Sydney.
"I've lived in Orange my whole life and it's a bit unfair, but you can't help it. It's unfortunate for people who want to live in and around town because it is so expensive."
Third generation real estate agent Gary Blowes from Blowes Real Estate agreed that there were more investors "than normal".
"It's as strong as it's ever been, but it's not abnormal as this is one of the best country towns in NSW," he said.
Asked if he felt first home owners were being priced out by investors, Mr Blowes said: "No, the market hasn't gone through the roof, even with all the incentives out there [for first home buyers]. We're still affordable, even though prices are going up."
In 2016 the median price for a four-bedroom house in Orange was $415,000. Four years later it has jumped to $520,000.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.