California pending home sales rise, post double-digit year-over-year gains

California Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index rose to 128.8 in May compared with 115.8 a year earlier. Pending home sales also posted double-digit gains compared with the previous year for the fourth consecutive month. Additionally, the share of distressed sales continued to decline from year-ago levels, signaling a return of non-investors to the housing market.
• The share of equity sales – or non-distressed property sales – compared with total sales improved further in May. The share of equity sales rose to 59.3 percent in May, up from 55.8 percent in April. Equity sales made up 51 percent of all sales in May 2011.
• Likewise, shares of REOs and short sales sold statewide decreased in May, with the share of REO sales dropping the most markedly from a year ago. The combined share of all distressed property sales fell to 40.7 percent in May, down from April’s 44.2 percent and from 49 percent in May 2011.
• The share of short sales declined in May to 19.4 percent, down from 20.6 percent in April and from 20.3 percent a year ago.
• Of the distressed properties, the share of REO sales declined further in May to 21 percent, down from 23.2 percent in April and 28.4 percent in May 2011.
• The available supply of REOs for sale continued to tighten in May, with the Unsold Inventory Index declining from a 2-month supply in April 2012 to 1.5 months in May 2012.