Source: CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Led by the Southern California region, California pending home sales registered gains on a month-to-month and year-to-year basis, portending a moderate increase in sales in the near term, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said.
The modest sales growth is unlikely to be sustained, however, given the severe shortage of homes for sale and affordability concerns, as indicated in C.A.R.’s December Market Pulse Survey**, which saw fewer listing appointments and less open house traffic.
Based on signed contracts, statewide pending home sales increased in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* rising 1.9 percent from 115.8 from December 2015 to 118.1 in December 2016 – even with new mortgage rules that pushed sales higher December a year ago.
On a monthly basis, California pending home sales were up 3.3 percent from the November index of 114.4.
- Southern California saw the largest increase in pending sales last month, rising 7.8 percent on an annual basis and decreasing 16.1 percent on a monthly basis.
- On the flip side, in the San Francisco Bay Area as a whole, tight housing supplies and low affordability contributed to a fall in pending sales of 14.2 percent compared to December 2015 and 32.5 percent from November.
- Overall pending sales in the Central Valley improved 0.9 percent from December 2015 and were down 18.4 percent from November.
- The share of homes selling below asking price fell from 57 percent a year ago to 43 percent in December. Conversely, the share of properties selling above asking price increased to 23 percent from 18 percent in December 2015. The remaining 34 percent sold at asking price, up from 25 percent in December 2015.
- For homes that sold above asking price, the premium paid over asking price rose to 11 percent, up from 8.4 percent in November and 9.2 percent a year ago.
- The 43 percent of homes that sold below asking price sold for an average of 22 percent below asking price in December, double the November figure of 11 percent, and was up from 13 percent from a year ago.