By Robert Carry

Brisbane's luxury home market is beginning to show signs of recovery after almost a year in freefall, city agents believe.

Place director Damian Hackett said research by his company indicates that the average price for a unit over $3m is at $3.1m - levels not seen since January 2005.

"After reaching a peak in the second half of 2007, we saw an exodus of speculators from the market - which resulted in a large number of apartments being dumped on the market and a corresponding rapid decrease in price," said Hackett.

According to reports in the Courier Mail, agents believe recovery is imminent, with prices for luxury properties again hitting 2005 levels. Both Melbourne and Sydney have reported increased interest in the high end and the expectation is that Brisbane will follow.

Australian Property Monitors economist Matthew Bell said that the trend had already extended to many capitals, and was likely to be evident in Brisbane in its December-quarter figures.

In the three months to September, the most expensive half of Sydney's suburbs saw median house prices surge at three times the rate seen in residential property in general. In Melbourne meanwhile, witness a 6.1% increase in median price driven largely by the top end.