Pleasanton Weekly

Real Estate - March 11, 2011

State's pending home sales rise in January

But bank-owned, short sales also up to 54% of market

by Jeb Bing

Pending home sales in California increased in January, according to the California Association of Realtor's Pending Home Sales Index. The index was 93.6 in January, rising 13.6% from December's index of 82.4, based on contracts signed in January.

"Pending sales typically rise in January from a seasonally slow November and December," said C.A.R. President Beth L. Peerce. "January's pending sales should be reflected in higher existing sales activity in February and March and serve as a precursor to the spring home buying season."

The total share of all distressed property types sold statewide in January was 54%, up from 50% in December, but down from 56% in January 2010.

Conventional sales made up the remaining share at 46% in January, down from 50% in December, but up from 44% in January 2010.

Of the distressed properties sold statewide, the total share of REO (real estate-owned) sales was 32% in January, up from 30% in December, but was down from 37% in January 2010.

The statewide share of short sales increased to 22% in January, up from 20% in December and up from 19% in January 2010.

The median price of homes sold in the state differed dramatically depending on the property type, with non-distressed properties selling for much higher prices than short sales and foreclosures.

The statewide median price of conventional properties sold in January was $367,150, which is 38% higher than the short sale median price of $265,500 recorded in January, and 85% higher than the January REO median price of $198,000.

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