California pending home sales bounce back in October


Southern California and Bay Area regions rise, Central Valley posts lower

LOS ANGELES – November 25, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Pending home sales bounced back from the previous month at the statewide level in October, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today. Pending sales were also significantly higher on an annual basis, portending higher closed escrows in the next couple of months.

In a separate report, California REALTORS® responding to C.A.R.’s October Market Pulse Survey saw a nominal increase in sales with multiple offers compared with September and an increase in the number of offers received. The number of floor calls and open house traffic declined, however, primarily reflecting seasonal factors as the market enters the end of the home-buying season. The Market Pulse Survey is a monthly online survey of more than 300 California REALTORS®, which measures data about their last closed transaction and sentiment about business activity in their market area for the previous month and the last year.

Pending home sales data:

• Statewide pending home sales increased in October, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* rising 2.5 percent from a revised 110.7 in September to 113.4 in October, based on signed contracts. The month-to-month gain was better than the average increase of 0.9 percent from September to October observed in the last seven years.

• On an annual basis, statewide pending home sales were up 13.9 percent from the revised 99.5 index recorded in October 2014. Pending sales have been increasing on a year-over-year basis since November 2014 and have seen double-digit increases for nine straight months.

• At the regional level, pending sales were higher on a year-over-year basis in all areas, with Southern California and Central Valley both increasing at a double-digit rate compared to last October.

• San Francisco Bay Area pending sales rose 16.3 percent to reach an index of 145.6 in October, up from September’s 125.2 and up 16.1 percent from October 2014’s 125.4 index.

• Pending home sales in Southern California increased to 94.3 in October, up 9.8 percent from 85.9 in September and up 9 percent from an index of 86.5 a year ago.

• Central Valley pending sales dropped in October to reach an index of 89.5, down 13.9 percent from September’s 103.9 index but up 18.6 percent from October 2014’s 75.5 index.

Equity and distressed housing market data:

• The share of equity sales – or non-distressed property sales – dipped in October but remained at the highest levels since the fall of 2007. Equity sales now make up 93.7 percent of all sales, up from 91.5 percent a year ago.

• The combined share of all distressed property sales (REOs and short sales) edged up in October to 6.3 percent of total sales, but was down from 8.5 percent a year ago.

• Fifteen of the 44 counties that C.A.R. reports showed month-to-month decreases in their share of distressed sales, with Mariposa having the smallest share of distressed sales at 0 percent, followed by San Francisco (0.4 percent), San Mateo (0.8 percent), and Santa Cruz (1.3 percent). Madera had the highest share of distressed sales at 19 percent, followed by Siskiyou (16.4 percent), Yuba (12.1 percent), and Tulare (11.9 percent).

October REALTOR® Market Pulse Survey**:

• More than one in four homes (27 percent) closed above asking price in October, and nearly half (47 percent) closed below asking price. One-fourth (25 percent) closed at asking price.

• For the one in four homes that sold above asking price, the premium paid over asking price fell to an average of 8.9 percent, down from 11 percent in September and up from 8.4 percent in October 2014.

• The 46 percent of homes that sold below asking price sold for an average of 12 percent below asking price in October, up from 10 percent in September and up from 6.3 percent in October 2014.

• About two-thirds (64 percent) of properties received multiple offers in October, indicating the market remains competitive. Fifty-one percent of properties received multiple offers in October 2014.

• The average number of offers per property increased to 3.2 in October, up from 2.4 in September and up from 2.3 in October 2014.

• With home prices leveling off in recent months, more sellers are adjusting their listing price to become more in line with buyers’ expectations. One-third (32 percent) of properties had price reductions in October, the highest level reached in the last 12 months.

• REALTOR® respondents reported that floor calls, listing appointments, and open house traffic all declined in October, mostly due to seasonal factors.

• When asked what REALTORS®’ biggest concerns are, more than one in five (22 percent) said low housing affordability, 21 percent indicated a lack of housing inventory, 16 percent cited overinflated home prices, and 12 percent said a slowdown in economic growth.

• On a positive note, four of five REALTORS® believe market conditions will either improve or remain the same next year.

Graphics (click links to open):

• Pending home sales by region.
• More transactions closing above asking price.
• Premium paid over asking price declines.
• REALTORS®’ expectations of market conditions.

*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.

**C.A.R.’s Market Pulse Survey is a monthly online survey of more than 300 California REALTORS® to measure data about their last closed transaction and sentiment about business activity in their market area for the previous month and the last year.

Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® ( is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

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