Pending home sales in the state of California dropped for the second straight month in December, amid a shortage of homes for sale, rising interest rates and higher home prices, according to the California Association of Realtors.
The pending home sales index -- based on signed contract, not completed sales -- dropped 25.2 percent in December to reach 68.8, down from a revised index of 92 for November. This was the second consecutive double-digit drop for the index.
Today's report shows a slight drop in equity sales in December. The share of non-distressed property sales decreased to 84.3 percent from 86.4 percent in November. However, this marks the sixth consecutive month that equity sales have been higher than 80 percent of total sales, according to NAR.
By comparison, equity sales represented 63.4 percent of sales in December 2012.
On the other hand, the combined share of distressed home sales increased from 13.6 percent in November to 15.7 percent in December.
In December, "lenders tend to push through more distressed properties to get them off their books by year's end," according to the report. However, "distressed sales were down by nearly two-thirds from a year ago, when the share was 35.4 percent."