Pending Home Sales Dial Up Again in February; Distressed Housing Market Stabilizes, C.A.R. Reports

Business Wire

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Pending home sales posted stronger than average gains in February for the second straight month, thanks to seasonal factors, but remained below the level of a year ago, despite slight improvements in the statewide housing demand, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

Pending home sales data:

  • California pending home sales jumped 14.2 percent in February, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* rising from 84.8 in January to 96.8 in February, based on signed contracts. Pending sales were down 12 percent from the 110.1 index recorded in February 2013. The year-over-year decline was the sixth straight annual double-digit drop in the PHSI, but should start to taper in the upcoming months. 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:

  • The share of equity sales – or non-distressed property sales – increased to 85 percent in February, up from 84.4 percent in January. Equity sales have stabilized over the past several months and should continue to hover around 85 percent, with February marking the eighth straight month that equity sales have been more than 80 percent of total sales. Equity sales made up 66.7 percent of sales in February 2013.
  • The combined share of all distressed property sales was down in February. The share of distressed property sales dipped from 15.6 percent in January to 15 percent in February. Distressed sales continued to be down by more than a half from a year ago, when the share was 33.3 percent. More than half of the 38 reported counties showed a month-to-month decrease in the share of distressed sales, with San Diego and San Francisco Bay Area counties registering the smallest share.
  • Of the distressed properties, the share of short sales was 8.2 percent in February, down from 9.2 percent in January. February’s figure was more than half of the 19.6 percent recorded in February 2013 and remained at the lowest levels since January 2009.
  • The share of REO sales increased in February to 6.3 percent, up from 5.9 percent in January. REOs made up 13.2 percent of all sales in February 2013.
  • February saw a slight increase in active listings across all property types, especially in equity properties, which helped to improve housing supply conditions. The Unsold Inventory Index for equity sales crept up from 4.4 months in January to 4.8 months in February. The supply of REOs dipped from 3.2 months in January to 3 months in February, and the supply of short sales increased from 4.6 months in January to 5 months in February.

Charts (click link to open):

 
Share of Distressed Sales to Total Sales
(Single-family)
 

 

      Feb.       Jan.       Feb.

Type of Sale

      2014       2014       2013
Equity Sales       85.0%       84.4%       66.7%
Total Distressed Sales       15.0%       15.6%       33.3%
REOs       6.3%       5.9%       13.2%
Short Sales       8.2%       9.2%       19.6%
Other Distressed Sales (Not Specified)       0.6%       0.5%       0.5%
All Sales       100.0%       100.0%       100.0%
 
 
Single-family Distressed Home Sales by Select Counties
(Percent of total sales)
 
County       Feb. 2014       Jan. 2014       Feb. 2013
Alameda       9%       10%       22%
Amador       19%       21%       46%
Butte       16%       14%       40%
Contra Costa       10%       12%       29%
El Dorado       17%       20%       39%
Fresno       29%       26%       44%
Humboldt       15%       17%       26%
Kern       19%       19%       36%
Kings       36%       45%       41%
Lake       36%       50%       45%
Los Angeles       14%       16%       32%
Madera       30%       15%       53%
Marin       7%       13%       19%
Mendocino       24%       19%       27%
Merced       16%       27%       41%
Monterey       14%       17%       45%
Napa       15%       17%       34%
Orange       8%       9%       20%
Placer       16%       15%       33%
Riverside       18%       16%       39%
Sacramento       19%       20%       43%
San Benito       5%       18%       44%
San Bernardino       22%       22%       43%
San Diego       5%       4%       15%
San Joaquin       22%       25%       51%
San Luis Obispo       9%       10%       21%
San Mateo       6%       7%       19%
Santa Clara       7%       8%       17%
Santa Cruz       13%       12%       34%
Siskiyou       44%       34%       60%
Solano       25%       22%       52%
Sonoma       12%       11%       34%
Stanislaus       21%       25%       48%
Sutter       25%       17%       NA
Tulare       18%       20%       49%
Yolo       18%       13%       38%
Yuba       23%       24%       NA
California       15%       16%       33%

NA = not available

*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 become 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 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

Contact:
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
Lotus Lou, 213-739-8304
lotusl@car.org

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