California pending home sales climbed in August from both the previous month and year, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today. The year-to-year increase was the highest level since July 2009.
Pending home sales:
Pending home sales in California rose 7 percent from July, according to C.A.R.’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)*. The index was 125.3 in August, up from July’s index of 117.1, based on contracts signed in August. The index was up 12.6 percent from August 2010. 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 total share of all distressed property types sold statewide inched up to 43.7 percent in August from July’s 42.9 percent. The share of distressed sales was lower from a year prior, when distressed sales totaled 44.5 percent of all home sales.
  • Of the distressed properties sold statewide, 18.9 percent were short sales compared to July’s 17.5 percent share and last August’s share of 19.3 percent.
  • The share of REO (real estate-owned) sales was down from both July and a year ago. REOs made up 24.4 percent of sales in August, down from 25.2 percent in July and 24.7 percent in August 2010.
  • Non-distressed sales made up the remaining share of home sales in August at 56.3 percent, down from 57.1 percent in July and 55.5 percent in August 2010.

• View a chart of pending sales compared with closed sales.
Share of Distressed Sales to Total Sales

Type of Sale Aug. 2010 Jul-11 Aug. 2011
REOs 24.70% 25.20% 24.40%
Short Sales 19.30% 17.50% 18.90%
Misc Distress 0.40% 0.30% 0.40%
Total Distress 44.50% 42.90% 43.70%

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

County Aug. 2010 Jul-11 Aug. 2011
Amador 34% 55% 59%
Butte 29% 43% 42%
Humboldt 20% 27% 31%
Kern 63% 62% 60%
Lake 74% 73% 64%
Los Angeles 46% 42% 44%
Madera 62% 86% 73%
Marin 29% 25% 27%
Mendocino 52% 61% 48%
Merced 53% 71% 59%
Monterey 59% 61% 62%
Napa 39% 51% 48%
Orange 31% 32% 33%
Riverside 68% 62% 62%
Sacramento 63% 60% 62%
San Benito 60% 65% 67%
SanBrnrdino 68% 65% 64%
San Diego 27% 26% 27%
SanLuisObispo 41% 42% 45%
San Mateo 27% 23% 25%
Santa Clara 31% 28% 31%
Santa Cruz 34% 40% 35%
Solano 67% 70% 71%
Sonoma 41% 46% 43%
Tehama 80% 72% 56%
CALIFORNIA 44% 43% 44%

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