House hunters with plans to take action this Spring will need to be fast and decisive or be prepared to expand their budgets. Fewer home-owners are listing their properties for sale, but there are rising numbers of prospective buyers.

This higher-demand lower-supply dynamic will put pressure on buyers to offer higher prices or more generous purchasing terms. It’s a big change from the conditions of the past two years when listing numbers were up and buyer demand was down. Buyers have been coming back into the market since the Federal Election, interest rate cuts and relaxed lending criteria.

SQM Research director Louis Christopher says the issue for those seeking a home is that the recent uplift in buyer confidence was not being matched by improved sentiment among sellers.

“Spring is usually the busiest time of the year for listings and this year’s Spring selling season will be a real test for the market,” he says. “There will be more sellers than in Winter but it doesn’t look like there will be as many as in previous years.”