According to the California Association of Realtors, pending home sales in California soared in February 2015 to record the first double-digit annual gain in nearly three years, the third straight year-to-year increase, and post the biggest annual increase in nearly six years. The California Association of Realtors also reported the following data:
California pending home sales
California pending home sales jumped in February, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) increasing 24.8 percent from a revised 89.9 in January to 112.2, based on signed contracts. The month-to-month increase easily topped the long-run average increase of 17.9 percent observed in the last seven years.
Statewide pending home sales were up 15.6 percent on an annual basis from the 97.1 index recorded in February 2014. The yearly increase was the largest since April 2009 and was the first double-digit gain since April 2012.
San Francisco Bay Area's PHSI stood at 124.8 in February, up 23.3 percent from 101.2 in January and 13.1 percent from 110.3 percent in February 2014.
Pending home sales in Southern California jumped 25 percent in February to reach an index of 98.9, up 15.2 percent from 85.8 in February 2014.
Central Valley pending sales soared 57.1 percent from January to reach an index of 83.7 in February, up 15 percent from 72.8 in February 2014.
Equity and distressed California housing market data
The share of equity sales - or non-distressed property sales - grew slightly as a share of the market after declining for three straight months. Equity sales made up more than 89 percent of all home sales in February, up from 88.1 percent in January and 85 percent in February 2014. Equity sales have been more than 80 percent of total sales since July 2013 and have risen to or near 90 percent since mid-2014.
Meanwhile, the combined share of all distressed property sales fell in February, down from 11.9 percent in January to 10.9 percent in February. Distressed sales made up 15 percent of total sales a year ago. Seventeen of the 43 counties that C.A.R. reported show month-to-month decreases in their distressed sales shares, with Amador and Mariposa having the smallest share of distressed sales at 0 percent, followed by San Mateo (2 percent) and Marin (3 percent). Glenn County had the highest share of distressed sales at 36 percent, followed by Yuba (25 percent) and Siskiyou (24 percent).
California Realtor Sentiment
California Realtors reported fewer multiple offers but an increase in open house traffic, compared to a year ago.
In a sign of a less competitive housing market, about one in five homes (21 percent) sold above asking price, down from its peak of 40 percent in March 2014 and from 34 percent a year ago. The share rose slightly from the lowest point of 16 percent in January. Nearly half of homes (49 percent) closed below asking price, down from 55 percent in January.
In February, homes that sold above asking price sold for 10 percent above asking price, down from 12 percent in January, but up from 6.8 percent in February 2014.
Homes that sold below asking price sold for 11 percent below asking price, unchanged from January. The number of homes that had listing price reductions has remained steady at 31 percent since December 2014.
Sixty-one percent of properties received multiple offers in February, up from 58 percent in January but down from 71 percent a year ago.
The average number of offers per property in February was 2.6, essentially unchanged from 2.5 in January but down from 2.9 a year ago.
Floor calls, listing appointments, and open house traffic were down from January, but indicated open house traffic and off-MLS listings were up from February a year ago.