California Pending Home Sales Down Slightly In April

After posting a strong performance in March, California pending home sales slipped in April, but were higher than a year earlier for the 12th consecutive month, according to new data from the California Association of Realtors (CAR).

CAR's pending home sales index declined from a revised 138.9 in March to 128 in April, based on signed contracts; the index was up from the revised 114.4 index recorded in April 2011.

The share of equity sales – or non-distressed property sales – compared with total sales increased to its highest level since July 2008, rising to 58% in April, up from 54.5% in March. Equity sales made up 52.3% of all sales in April 2011.

Conversely, the total share of all distressed property types sold statewide decreased in April to 42%, down from March's 45.5% and from 47.7% in April 2011. Of the distressed properties sold statewide in April, 19.4% were short sales, down from March's share of 21% and only slightly higher than last April's share of 19.1%. The share of REO sales hit the lowest level in four years, declining in April to 22.3%, down from March's 24.1% and down from the 28.3% recorded in April 2011.

‘Inventory constraints could be a contributing factor to lower pending sales,’ says CAR President LeFrancis Arnold. ‘The tight inventory we've been experiencing in the distressed market over the past several months is now spreading to equity properties, essentially affecting the supply conditions of both the distressed and non-distressed markets.’


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