The restrictions and economic impacts arising from the COVID-19 outbreak have dampened the activity from the sellers in April, resulting in a downtrend in all capital cities, except Canberra, according to the latest market update by SQM Research.

Across the country, listings went down by 4.9% over the month and 11.9% over the year. The available supply of housing in the market was at 292,775.

Of all capital cities, Canberra was the only one to report an increase in available housing stock, albeit only marginal at 0.4%. On a yearly basis, however, listings in Canberra were down by 6.8%.

Also read: Why Canberra Is A Safe Bet For Investors

Perth recorded the biggest month-on-month slump in listings at 8.4%. Sydney, on the other hand, registered the largest decline on a yearly basis at 19.4%.

The table below shows the number of available housing stock in each capital city:

Property listings across all capital cities, except Canberra, dropped in April due to the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on the housing market and the economy.

Louis Christopher, head of research at SQM Research, said the decline indicates that sellers struggled to sell their properties over the month and new sellers decided to defer listing their homes.

"With the lifting some restrictions over the course of May, we could see a lift in buyer activity for housing. However, many issues persist, such as the spike in unemployment and the ongoing closure of the international border," he said.

In terms of asking prices, capital cities reported average gains of 0.7% for houses and 0.1% for units over the past 30 days to 5 May.

Of all capital cities, only Melbourne, Adelaide, and Darwin were able to record increases in both house and unit prices.