Listings of properties for sale rose 4.8% increase during April, but they remain well below the levels of a year ago.

SQM Research data puts national listings at 228,901 properties, up from 218,398 in March.

The largest increases in listings in April were in Hobart (17.7%), Brisbane (7.8%) and Sydney (5.8%).

Despite the month-on-month increase, numbers are still about 13% lower than at the same time last year.

SQM managing director Louis Christopher says April is generally a slower month for new listings as a result of multiple public holidays.

“There may also have been an element of caution by would-be new vendors given the perceived slowdown in some property markets,” according to Christopher.

He says absorption rates across the country are slowing.

In other news relating to the shortage of supply, housing approvals dropped 18.5% in February.

Approvals for standalone dwellings fell 3.1% and attached dwellings (apartments, townhouses and semi-detached homes) dropped 38%, according to the ABS.