Pending Home Sales in California Spike to 4 Year High

California home salesThe Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, is watched because it signals the strength of market activity. In January 2013, California homes had more accepted offers for purchase than we’ve seen in 4 years. This is an excellent market signal, and there’s more good news where that came from! Let’s look at the numbers.

The California Association of Realtors® reports that pending home sales increased by 23%  in January. This is the hightest monthly increase we’ve seen since March 2009! Pending sales on a year-to-year comparison were also up 1.4% from a year ago.

We also have continued improvement in the ratio between equity sales and distressed home sales. Homes with equity accounted for 64.4% of the market in January. A year ago, equity sales represented less than half of the market, at 45.3%.

Looking at the progress another way, distressed home sales in January accounted for 35.6% of the market. A year prior, distressed sales held 54.7% of the market.

One of the important measures of market progress is the relationship between foreclosures and short sales. Within the 35.6% of distressed sales, short sales claimed 21.5% of this category, and foreclosures accounted for 13.7% of these sales.  Because short sales are based on current market values, whereas foreclosures are discounted and harm surrounding values, we always prefer to a ratio in favor of short sales.

We are also seeing a slight increase in home inventory, which has helped foster the gains in pending sales. Home inventory in January inched up to just over a 3 month supply for short sales, and a 3.6 month supply for equity sales. This indicates we are still experiencing a fast-paced market.

Please keep in mind that the above figures are statewide averages.  Livermore home sales are running a blistering pace, with an average of only 26 days on market, and a home inventory of less than 1 month supply! You can always stay on top of our local market by reading the market statistics on my website.

We can expect to see a very active spring real estate market! Mortgage interest rates are still excellent, and there are some beautiful homes on the market at very attractive prices. It’s a great time to buy a Livermore home, and thanks to the improved market and limited home inventory, it’s also a great time to sell!

Ready to buy or sell a Livermore home? I will be happy to help you, just give me a call!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
Visit My Website


Leave a Comment