California pending home sales climb from previous month and year

For release:
March 26, 2012

California pending home sales climb from previous month and year; tight inventory in distressed market persists

LOS ANGELES (March 26) – Pending home sales in California gained ground for the second consecutive month in February, while the share of equity sales posted higher after two months of decline, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today. 

Pending home sales:

C.A.R.’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* rose from a revised 102.3 in January to 127.8 in February, based on signed contracts.  The index also was up from the 111.8 index recorded in February 2011, marking the tenth consecutive month that pending sales were higher than the previous year.  Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, providing information on the future direction of the market.

Distressed housing market data:

“A lack of inventory in the bank-owned (REO) and short sale market was a contributing factor to the decline in share of distressed sales in February,” said C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold.  “In fact, REO inventory declined 24 percent in February from the previous year, while short sale inventory dropped 17 percent during the same period.”
 
• After declining for two straight months, equity sales increased in February, making up 51.1 percent of home sales in February.  Equity sales made up 49.9 and 44.8 percent of all sales in January 2012 and February 2011, respectively.
• Meanwhile, the total share of all distressed property types sold statewide decreased in February to 48.9 percent, down from January’s 50.1 percent and from 55.2 percent in February 2011.
• The share of short sales dipped slightly in February.  Of the distressed properties sold statewide in January, 23 percent were short sales, down from the previous month’s share of 23.8 percent but up from last February’s share of 22.9 percent.
• The share of REO sales also edged down in February to 25.2 percent, down from January’s 25.9 percent and down from the 31.9 percent recorded in February 2011.

Multimedia:

• View a video of C.A.R. Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young discussing highlights of the February existing home sales and price report, which was released March 15.
• View a chart of closed housing sales in February by sales type.
• View a chart of pending sales compared with closed sales.
• View a chart of the historical trend in the share of equity sales compared with distressed sales.
• View a chart of housing supply for REOs, short sales, and equity sales in February.

Share of Distressed Sales to Total Sales

Type of Sale

Feb-11

Jan-12

Feb-12

Equity Sales

44.8%

49.9%

51.1%

Total Distressed Sales

55.2%

50.1%

48.9%

     REOs

31.9%

25.9%

25.2%

     Short Sales

22.9%

23.8%

23.0%

     Other Distressed Sales (Not Specified) 

0.5%

0.4%

0.7%

All Sales 

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Single-family Distressed Home Sales by Select Counties
(Percent of total sales)

County

Feb. 2011

Jan. 2012

Feb. 2012

Amador

54%

50%

52%

Butte

53%

43%

53%

Humboldt

31%

35%

40%

Kern

72%

64%

63%

Lake

65%

74%

66%

Los Angeles

55%

52%

51%

Madera

73%

65%

73%

Marin

43%

39%

39%

Mendocino

62%

49%

56%

Merced

73%

65%

63%

Monterey

66%

56%

59%

Napa

64%

62%

52%

Orange

48%

43%

43%

Riverside

71%

61%

61%

Sacramento

71%

66%

66%

San Benito

62%

76%

66%

San Bernardino

76%

68%

66%

San Diego

34%

30%

29%

San Luis Obispo

56%

49%

42%

San Mateo

35%

39%

37%

Santa Clara

47%

41%

40%

Santa Cruz

48%

54%

42%

Siskiyou

50%

70%

67%

Solano

77%

75%

74%

Sonoma

58%

57%

51%

Tehama

79%

65%

84%

California

55%

50%

49%


**Note:  C.A.R.’s pending sales information is generated from a survey of more than 70 associations of REALTORS® and MLSs throughout the state.  Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, offering solid information on future changes in the direction of the market.  A sale is listed as pending after a seller has accepted a sales contract on a property.  The majority of pending home sales usually becomes closed sales transactions one to two months later.  The year 2008 was used as the benchmark for the Pending Homes Sales Index.  An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2008.

Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with 160,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

 

 

SUNIL SETHI REAL ESTATE
REALTOR, Broker, President, MBA

Helping Families Find Homes with Great Schools.

Sunil Sethi (510) 388-2436
Steven Fong (510) 673-6509

 

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