ACT Property Council Executive Director Catherine Carter. Photo: Supplied
The looming federal election has cast a pall over Canberra's property sector, with its industry members the most negative in the country, a survey shows.
The survey conducted by the Property Council of Australia and ANZ found that despite a slight improvement in local sentiment over the previous three months, industry members in the capital remained pessimistic.
The quarterly Property Industry Confidence Survey outlined a shift in sentiment from 90 to 96 on the index, where a score of 100 would be considered neutral. It was the lowest score in the country alongside Tasmania, which was also recorded at 96.
All other states and territories recorded positive sentiment, ranging from South Australia at 108 to Western Australia on 149. NSW recorded 131 on the index.
Property Council ACT executive director Catherine Carter said increased political uncertainty combined with an industry-wide downturn was causing the slump.
''Both major parties have signalled very significant job cuts to the public service, and this has a great impact on Canberra due to the size of the sector,'' she said.
''We would be looking to the ACT government to get policy and tax settings right to take us through this difficult period.''
Real Estate Institute of the ACT spokesman Craig Bright said the subdued market was due in part to political uncertainty.
A slowing construction schedule had also added to the capital's negative view, according to ANZ head of property research Paul Braddick.