In Australia the Gov introduced assistance for first home buyers, as a strategy it is a good one as it provides people with an opportunity that they wouldn't otherwise have, ask yourself why would a government do this if it wasn't a positive thing to do?
The cynics may suggest it is because they are trying to buy votes but the assistance has been around with changes of government. I believe it is because owning your own home provides you with stability, security and a long term investment.
Our first home was nothing exciting but it housed us and our 4 children and gave them stability and security, both important. We have moved and used the equity to secure better homes. Moving by choice not because some landlord wants to sell, refurbish, put the rent up. All things that add stress to a relationship and family.
I agree there are advantages to renting like no rates, no repair bills however you cant make the house your home (unless you have permission from the owner) like painting, picture hooks in walls etc if the rental market is tight as we are seeing here, rents can become higher than mortgage payments. Been there done that.
My advice is to be realistic buy the smaller less loved house in a good location, gradually do it up so that it becomes the prize it should be then use the equity to move up. Unfortunately these days lots of people want to buy top end and do nothing, or worse are getting into debt that is way over their head because along with the house comes the designer furniture big screen TV's etc, buy now pay later has caused a lot of people angst and heartache and is pulling families apart but if you are smart, go back to a more traditional way you can successfully manage and have your own. Your children aren't dragged from pillar to post which can cause major educational issues if you have to move schools as well because you cant rent a house in the same area. Buy the house borrow the furniture if necessary plan for the future and be patient do it slowly. Markets will gain and lose it's part of life sometimes you just have to jump in and do it.