Brisbane's median house price has increased 21 per cent over the past five years, but the number of house sales has nearly halved.
The number of houses sold in Brisbane fell from 21,413 in 2006-07 to 10,631 in 2011-12, according to figures compiled by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland.
Meanwhile, the median house price increased from $415,000 to $505,000.
The REIQ examined house sales in the Brisbane local government area, which takes in suburbs as far north as Brighton and as far south as Browns Plains.
While the median house price jumped 18.1 per cent at the height of the market five years ago, a series of knock-backs – chiefly the GFC and the 2011 January flood – saw the price rise just 3 per cent over the past four financial years.
Population growth was one contributing factor, according to REIQ chief executive Anton Kardash. Population growth in Brisbane's inner-city suburbs declined from 5000 people in 2007 to 2500 in 2009.
Property analyst Terry Ryder attributed the drop in house sales to the poor level affordability in Brisbane that had driven buyers further afield to Logan and Ipswich.
"The market these days is driven by affordability and affordability drives the bulk of the market to farther flung reaches of the Brisbane metropolitan area," he said.
"We might all aspire to live in Ascot, Hamilton and Clayfield, or places of that ilk, but the reality is the vast majority of buyers can't afford those locations and so they're forced to compromise and that drives them beyond the boundaries of the Brisbane LGA."
According to the REIQ, the median house price in Logan City as of June 30 this year was $335,000, while in Ipswich City it was $300,750.
Brisbane's median house price was last below $350,000 ten years ago, in the 2002-03 financial year.
In that year the median house price was $275,000 and 23,955 houses were sold across the city.
Four years earlier, in the financial year ending June 2000, the median house price in Brisbane was just $169,000.
Mr Kardash said markets tended to pause after a "big boom", as occurred in Brisbane after 2008.
"But then we've had a series of confidence-zapping news, as I would describe it, with everything from the dot-com bust, the GFC, and then everything that's happened internationally around the Euro," he said.
"Real estate is a confidence thing and confidence gets zapped by uncertainty and all the information we've been getting from overseas and at home has certainly zapped confidence."
Mr Kardash noted the median house price provided a limited snapshot of the property field, because the figure could often be skewed by an inordinate number of sales at either the low or top end of the market in a given time period.
He said the 4.7 per cent drop in the median house price in the 12 months to June this year reflected the majority of activity which occurred at the low end of the market, where prices remained about $350,000.
Mr Kardash said the Brisbane market was on the "cusp of improvement", although he noted the middle price range remained relatively stagnate.
"Just recently the market's seen a little bit of a pick-up in the very top end ... but for us, we'd be looking at all three price ranges to be showing an improvement before you could call that the industry was on the way up," he said.