Despite fewer properties being up for grabs, auction clearance rates continue to improve, figures from CoreLogic show.

For the first time since late March, the overall clearance rate has bounced back above 60%, hitting 64.5%. This indicates that buyers are willing to break into the housing market amid the economic downturn brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak, said Jade Harling, analyst at CoreLogic.

"The lower withdrawal rate is the main factor driving an improvement in clearance rates. However, we are also seeing a recent trend towards a higher proportion of homes selling at auction, rather than prior to the event, implying vendors are becoming more willing to test the market under auction conditions," she said.

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The highest clearance rate was recorded in Sydney at 70.8%. Of the 209 auctions, 144 were sold in the city. Melbourne came in second with 60.3% of 160 auctions pushing through.

Overall auction volumes remained low, down to 473 from 612 in the previous weekend.

Activity in the coming weeks is expected to improve, given that some states have already announced easing of restrictions, which will allow resume on-site auctions and inspections.

"With news over the week that the ban on on-site auctions and inspections as a result of COVID-19 would now be lifted in NSW, WA and more recently announced in SA and Qld, along with a broader relaxation of social distancing policies, there’s likely to be a lift in confidence and volumes over the coming weeks," Harling said.

The table below shows the performance of each capital city auction market:

Clearance rates across capital cities are recovering but volumes are still low due to COVID-19 restrictions