Pleasanton Weekly

Real Estate - July 15, 2011

Pending sales climb in May

First year-over-year increase in 18 months

by Jeb Bing

California pending home sales rose in May, posting the first year-over-year increase in 18 months, the California Association of Realtors has reported.

CAR said its Pending Home Sales Index was 118.3 in May, up 1.6% from April's revised index of 116.4, based on contracts signed in May. The index also was up 12% from May 2010. Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, providing information on the future direction of the market.

"May marked the first year-over-year increase in pending sales since November 2009 and the largest annual increase since August 2009," said CAR President Beth L. Peerce.

"May's increase in pending sales is consistent with our expectation that home sales in the second half of 2011 should be higher compared with the second half of 2010, and as a result, annual sales for all of 2011 should match or exceed last year's annual pace."

Distressed housing market data:

* The total share of all distressed property types sold statewide was unchanged in May from April's 48%, but up from 46% in May 2010.

* Non-distressed sales made up the remaining share at 52% in May, unchanged from April but down from 54% in May 2010.

* Of the distressed properties sold statewide, the total share of REO (real estate-owned) sales was 28% in May, unchanged from April, but up from 26% in May 2010.

At 19%, the statewide share of short sales also was unchanged in May, but down from 20% in May 2010.

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