Pending Sales Down in California But Increase in Florida

MAY 23, 2013 11:43am ET

Pending home sales in California fell 3.7% on a month-to-month basis in April and were off 3.9% from April 2012, as the supply of properties for sale continues to tighten.

According to data from the California Association of Realtors, the supply of homes for sale which are not distressed properties was 2.9 months, down from 3 months in March.

Real estate owned properties for sale was 1.7 months in March, down from 1.8 months, while short sale properties available remained at 2.7 months.

Nondistressed sales made up more than three-fourths of transactions (75.6%) in the state, the highest share since February 2008; in March they were 72.1% and in April 2012 they were 54.2%.

REO transactions made up just 9.2% in April, the first time since 2007 this has been below 10% of the market.

Meanwhile, Florida Realtors said closed sales of existing single-family homes in April were up over 17% compared with the same month last year. Pending sales were up 32% in the same time frame.

“To a certain extent, the real estate story remains the same: prices and sales are up and inventory is low," said Florida Realtors chief economist John Tuccillo. "We are also seeing a continued stabilization of the distressed property market with short sales down, and foreclosure and REO sales essentially unchanged. But there is also a bit more to the story.

"Because the government is selling foreclosed properties in bulk and also using online auctions, our sales numbers actually understate the vigor of the market. The increased importance of government sales in this market is reflected in the continuing fall in inventory in MLS listings."

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