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California Pending Sales Up Monthly; REO, Short Sales Decline

California saw a month-over-month increase in pending home sales in February, while distressed were down for both REOs and short sales, the ""California Association of Realtors"":http://www.car.org/ (C.A.R.) reported.

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C.A.R.'s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) was up 8.7 percent to 110.2 in February, up from a revised 101.4 in January. The index is based on signed contracts.

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Year-over-year, pending sales decreased 8.2 percent from an index reading of 120.

Overall, distressed property sales accounted for 32.9 percent of sales in February, a decrease from 35.6 percent in January and a steep decline from 53.3 percent a year ago.

The share of short sales also slowed, falling to 19.9 percent in February, down from 21.5 percent in January and 24.8 percent from February 2012.

REO sales represented 12.6 percent of sales in February, down from 13.7 percent month-over-month and 28 percent year-over-year.

According to C.A.R.'s Unsold Inventory Index, the supply of REOs remained unchanged from January at 2 months.

As for non-distressed sales, or equity sales, the share increased to 67.1 percent, which is the first time equity sales made up more than two-thirds of all home sales since April 2008. In January, equity sales accounted for 64.4 percent of sales, and in February 2012, equity sales accounted for 46.7 percent) of all sales.

About Author: Esther Cho

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