Residential property listings across Australia fell more than 2% month-on-month in May, as a result of the federal election. 

SQM Research found that national residential property listings fell by 2.2% to 223,859 in May compared to 228,901 in April.  

SQM Research Managing Director Louis Christopher said listings fell during the month of May due in large part to the election, with many sellers and buyers waiting on the market sidelines for the outcome.  

“A number of properties which were already listed struggled to sell over the month and that pushed up the counts of old listings – a phenomenon that happens during market slowdowns,” Christopher said.  

Christopher said they had recorded a surge in new auction listings and expected a surge in new listings this month despite the market entering the quieter winter months. 

“Our overall outlook for the market remains unchanged in that we expect price falls of up to 8% this year for Melbourne and Sydney and low net single digit growth for the other cities,” Christopher said. 

The largest monthly falls in property listings were in Canberra, Adelaide, and Perth, where listings fell by 5.7%, 5.1% and 2.5% respectively. 

Compared to 12 months ago, total listings fell by 9%, with large declines recorded in Brisbane (22.1%), Adelaide (21.9%) and Canberra (18%). 

There were 74,902 new properties listed on the market last month, down 5.9%. 

Hobart and Canberra recorded the largest falls in new listings for the month, down by 28.2% and 10.6%.  

On an annual basis, new listings rose 23.7% in Hobart and fell 19.6% in Canberra, followed by Melbourne and Sydney, both down by 14.1% and 13.6%.