Seasonal factors, combined with shrinking housing affordability, cooled California pending home sales from both the previous month and year in November, according to the California Association of Realtors (CAR).
The CAR reports the following pending home sales data:
California pending home sales fell in November, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) dropping 13.6% in November to 93.8, down from a revised 108.6 in October, based on signed contracts. The monthly decline was the first double-digit drop in nearly a year. Pending sales were down 9.4% from the 103.5 index recorded in November 2012.
Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, providing information on the future direction of the market, according to the CAR.
The CAR also provides distressed housing market data:
The share of equity sales – or non-distressed property sales – grew in November, marking the fifth straight month that equity sales have been more than 80% of total sales. The share of equity sales in November increased to 86.4%, up from 85.4% in October. Equity sales made up 64.6% of sales in November 2012.
Conversely, the combined share of all distressed property sales shrank in November, dropping from 14.6% in October to 13.6% in November. Distressed sales were down by nearly two-thirds from a year ago, when the share was 35.4%. Twenty-one of the 38 reported counties showed a month-to-month decrease in the share of distressed sales, with Santa Clara County having the lowest share at 4%.
Of the distressed properties, the share of short sales was 8.8% in November, down from 9.5% in October. November's figure was nearly a third of the 23.3% recorded in November 2012 and remains at the lowest levels since January 2009.
The share of real estate owned property (REO) sales edged down in November to 4.4%, from 4.7% in October. It was the fourth straight month that REOs made up less than 5% of sales. REOs made up only 11.8% of all sales in November 2012.
Housing inventory levels improved slightly for the second consecutive month but were still extremely low. The Unsold Inventory Index for equity sales inched up from 3.4 months in October to 3.6 months in November. The supply of REOs rose from 2.7 months in October to 3.4 months in November, and the supply of short sales increased from 3.6 months in October to 4.2 months in November.