FOR the first time this year Gladstone's property market is showing signs that it's getting its mojo back.
Although property valuation experts Herron Todd White still say the market is yet to hit the bottom, in a big change, the volume of house sales increased.
An oversupply of property is still affecting the market and the demand for new houses remains "soft" but in its latest monthly review Herron Todd White said it didn't matter which "market sector you pick, most have had increased sales".
The property gurus put this change in the market down to the fact that prices haven't been as low as they are "in over a decade".
"The most active market sector is the sub $250,000 sector...purchasers in this price bracket comprise mostly owner occupiers, many of whom are first home buyers," the report said.
"The established suburbs of New Auckland, Clinton, South and West Gladstone are where most activity is occurring.
"Pricing and buyer feedback on these properties suggests that the prestige market has finally caught up with the rest of the market and is now at a more realistic pricing level," it said.
It would seem that buyers are finally cottoning that with such low property prices, now really is the time to buy.
But interestingly the report also found that investors were starting to re-enter the market.
"There has been a new wave of sales for standard four bedroom, two bathroom homes in modern estates selling for sub $300,000 however most of the stock is priced above this," the report said.
"There have been a number of 1980s and 1990s two bedroom townhouses sold in and around the central suburbs of South and West Gladstone."
The rental vacancy trend remains steady while the trend in new house construction was declining.
Although Herron Todd White found that first home buyers were getting into the game, which was helping to boost sales, Real Estate Institute Queensland CEO Antonia Mercorella said the first home owner's grant was failing to help regional Queensland.
The state government recently increased the grant from $15,000 to $20,000 but it is only available for new homes.
"These (regional) markets have a surplus of housing, established homes, and there is no need to build more housing - but to qualify for the Government's grant home owners are forced to build," Ms Mercorella said.
"In regional Queensland, it's like handing a drowning man a glass of water."
Ms Mercorella suggested broadening the first home owner's grant to include established homes.