THE REIQ Queensland Market Monitor has found Rockhampton's median house price for the June quarter was the lowest in the state at $260,000 for a three-bedroom home, a figure matched only by Bundaberg.
Kas Woch Real Estate principal Kas Woch said the findings were reflective of what agents had experienced in the local property market.
He said while the cheaper houses had suffered, the more expensive, high-quality homes targeted at owner-occupiers retained their value.
"The homes people want to live in are attracting decent prices - not going up, but people are getting their money back and probably a bit better," he said.
"The older homes, investor targeted, dropped dramatically and dragged the median prices down."
Mr Woch predicts house prices to increase within 12 months as southern investors realise their rental yield would be greater in Rockhampton than city centres such as Sydney and Melbourne.
"What we found in 2003 when we were out of line with rest of the state, eventually people down south come up and bought property," he said.
"If you get enough people up here property prices will go up.
"We do need employment to create that demand."
Mr Woch said between 2003 and December 2007, Rockhampton saw an increase of 20-22% each years for four consecutive years, driven by southern investors.
"We have got property we can sell at $130,000 and they would rent around $200 to $210 a week; returns way above what they (investors) get in Sydney and Melbourne.
"They will realise we are getting a return of 3%; here you can get 7%.
"It's also a prime time for first home owners to rent in the market - in a lot of cases the repayment of $130,000 is less than the rent they are paying.
"That's really where we are at the moment in the marketplace, reality says it cant remain that way forever."