Potential property buyers likely had fewer options to choose from in May with figures showing residential listings experienced a sharp fall over the month.

Released this week, the SQM Research figures show listings declined in all capital cities over the month, with the overall total number of listings down 4.3% to 350,333.

Over the month, Adelaide was home to the biggest movement as listings fell 6.2%, while listing were down 6.1% in Hobart.

Canberra (5.7%), Melbourne (5.5%) and Sydney (5.1%) all saw significant monthly falls as well.

Louis Christopher, head of SQM Research, said the fall in listings over May was surprising; however it may have been driven by interest rate movements.

“It’s possible the interest rate cut at the beginning of the month may have already led to an increase in buyer confidence, leading to higher absorption rates for listed properties,” Christopher said.

“Certainly, it seems that vendors were a little more confident during the month with vendor asking prices rising across most cities,” he said.

According to SQM, vendor asking prices moved upwards from 0.5% to 1% during May.

While listings were down month-on-month in all capital cities, conditions in the 12 months to May were more varied with increases and decreases evenly split across the eight markets.

In terms of increases, Sydney saw the largest yearly movement with listings up 16.9% compared to May 2015.

A 3.9% rise in Brisbane was the next largest increase over the 12-month period, while Darwin (1.3%) and Canberra (0.2%) saw smaller yearly increases.

The largest annual decrease in the 12 months to May was seen in Hobart where listings fell 11.8%, while Melbourne saw a significant fall of 6.4% over the year.

Smaller falls of 0.7% and 0.1% were seen in Adelaide and Perth respectively over the 12-month period.