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San Diego County registers lowest share of distressed sales

San Diego County’s combined share of all distressed property sales increased slightly from January to February, but was still down from the previous year, according to the California Association of Realtors (CAR).

The combined share of all distressed property sales was 5 percent in February, up from 4 percent in January and down from 15 percent in February 2013. Even with the slight increase, San Diego registered the smallest share of distressed property sales in February.

Statewide, the share of distressed property sales was 15 percent in February, down from 15.6 percent in January and from 33.3 percent in February 2013.

Of the distressed properties, the share of short sales in California was 8.2 percent in February, down from 9.2 percent in January. February’s figure was more than half of the 19.6 percent recorded in February 2013 and remained at the lowest levels since January 2009.

The share of REO sales increased in February to 6.3 percent, up from 5.9 percent in January. REOs comprised 13.2 percent of all sales in February 2013.

The share of equity sales in California -- or non-distressed property sales -- increased to 85 percent in February, up from 84.4 percent in January. Equity sales have stabilized over the past several months, with February marking the eighth straight month that equity sales have been more than 80 percent of total sales. Equity sales comprised 66.7 percent of sales in February 2013.

February saw a slight increase in active listings across all property types, especially in equity properties, which helped to improve housing supply conditions. The Unsold Inventory Index for equity sales crept up from 4.4 months in January to 4.8 months in February. The supply of REOs dipped from 3.2 months in January to 3 months in February, and the supply of short sales increased from 4.6 months in January to 5 months in February.

Pending home sales posted stronger than average gains in February for the second straight month, but remained below the level of a year ago, according to CAR.

California pending home sales jumped 14.2 percent in February, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) rising from 84.8 in January to 96.8 in February, based on signed contracts. Pending sales were down 12 percent from the 110.1 index recorded in February 2013. The year-over-year decline was the sixth straight annual double-digit drop in the PHSI, but should start to taper in the upcoming months. Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, providing information on the future direction of the market.

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