PUNCH-DRUNK local real estate agents have claimed the Griffith housing market has reached a five-year "Everest", despite new figures revealing the extent of the price freefall in the past year.
The Australian Property Monitors (APM) data shows Griffith house values dropped 7.2 per cent in the 12 months to April 30, but agents and valuers say the market is showing solid signs of recovery.
Nathan Thomas from Griffith Real Estate said a new federal government, low interest rates and more certainty around the Murray-Darling Basin Plan had created the perfect conditions for a "bull market".
"Confidence is finally coming back and the market hasn't been this active since 2008," Mr Thomas said.
"Affordability is at a point now where for a lot of people, it's cheaper to buy than rent.
"In the past month, I've had five properties sell and two of them sold for above the asking price.
"Prices have come back and people are starting to see value."
The APM figures showed there had been negative price growth in Griffith during the past five years, and only a modest 2.3 per cent gain in the past decade.
Local valuer Karen Gunn from Herron Todd White MIA said investors were slowly trickling back into the Griffith market.
"Investors are starting to return but not in substantial numbers ... they're dipping their toe in when we want to see them sink the whole foot," Mrs Gunn said.
"The interest is really coming in patches.
"There'll be a flurry of activity and then it goes quiet again.
"It's all driven by confidence and to keep things moving we need to see owner-occupiers and people wanting to trade up."
She said the market in Griffith was most active in the $200,000 to $260,000 range and expected upward pressure in that sector first.
Rural property prices also remain mixed, according to Mac Burge from Riverina Property Services.
He said broadacre properties were "moderate to firm" on the back of solid commodity prices, while horticulture properties were "generally weak", in line with low prices for grapes and citrus.