GRIFFITH'S punch-drunk real estate market is finally lifting itself off the canvas, with local agents reporting a surge in activity in recent weeks.
A decade of drought and the dark shadow of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan have conspired to batter the normally resilient local market but agents say the fog is slowly lifting.
Ray White Griffith senior property consultant Brendan Catanzariti said Tuesday's reduction in official interest rates and a record 2012 month for sales in August were strong signs the market may have finally bottomed out.
Mr Catanzariti sold a four-bedroom Carrathool Street home in August for $840,000, believed to be a local price record for a home on a standard residential block.
"There has been a marked increase in people looking and buying in the last two months, partly due to the end of the first home buyers' grant," Mr Catanzariti said.
"There would have been up to 40 homes sold locally in August and that's on the back of a number of months when we would have been lucky to sell 10."
He said a drop in prices for existing homes had seen new home construction dry up but stimulated the older home market.
A flurry of development around the city and the prospects of a solid cropping season ahead had also bolstered buyer confidence, he said.
“You look at some of the development that’s going on and people are starting to realise Griffith is moving forward again,” he said.
“We’ve been hit by this perfect storm of drought, basin plan, issues with citrus and grapes and jump in fertiliser costs, but people are starting to think ‘how long can we sit on our hands?’.”
Griffith Business Chamber president Paul Pierotti said it was now critical the major banks passed on Tuesday’s 25 basis point cut, both for the housing market and the retail sector.
“Our real estate market has been badly bruised by uncertainty caused by the basin plan but a swell in listings has occured and some real bargains are available right now,” Mr Pierotti said.
“The major banks should be fair and pass on the full saving to home buyers and lenders this time.”