February pending home sales and Market Pulse Survey

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For release:
March 23, 2015

California pending home sales climb in February to post biggest annual increase in nearly six years

Pending sales data for San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, and Central Valley regions now included

LOS ANGELES (March 23) – Pending home sales in California soared in February to record the first double-digit annual gain in nearly three years and the third straight year-to-year increase, suggesting improved market conditions and more closed transactions in the coming months, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

Additionally, C.A.R. this month is now reporting pending home sales data for the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, and Central Valley regions.

Pending home sales data:

• 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 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).

February REALTOR® Market Pulse Survey**:

In a separate report, California REALTORS® responding to C.A.R.’s February Market Pulse Survey saw fewer multiple offers but an increase in open house traffic, compared to a year ago. The Market Pulse Survey is a new monthly online survey of more than 300 California REALTORS® to measure data about their last closed transaction and sentiment about business activity in their market area for the previous month and the last year.

• 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 responding REALTORS® indicated open house traffic and off-MLS listings were up from February a year ago.

Graphics (click links to open):

Pending home sales by region.
Transactions closing below asking price.
Properties receiving multiple offers.
Listing price reductions.

Share of Distressed Sales to Total Sales

Type of Sale



Equity Sales 89.1% 88.1% 85.0%
Total Distressed Sales 10.9% 11.9% 15.0%

6.0% 5.8% 6.4%

Short Sales
4.5% 5.5% 8.1%

Other Distressed Sales (Not Specified)
0.5% 0.6% 0.6%

All Sales




Single-family Distressed Home Sales by Select Counties

(Percent of total sales)




Alameda 6% 5% 9%
Amador 0% 9% 19%
Butte 15% 13% 17%
Calaveras 13% 22% NA
Contra Costa 7% 9% 10%
El Dorado 13% 12% 17%
Fresno 16% 19% 29%
Glenn 36% 33% 25%
Humboldt 14% 9% 15%
Kern 13% 14% 18%
Kings 22% 25% 36%
Lake 18% 21% 36%
Los Angeles 10% 10% 14%
Madera 14% 12% 22%
Marin 3% 6% 7%
Mariposa 0% 0% 17%
Mendocino 17% 19% 24%
Merced 17% 11% 16%
Monterey 9% 2% 14%
Napa 8% 15% 15%
Orange 6% 8% 8%
Placer 8% 12% 16%
Plumas 16% 30% 27%
Riverside 13% 15% 18%
Sacramento 15% 18% 19%
San Benito 7% 6% 5%
San Bernardino 15% 17% 23%
San Diego 7% 8% 5%
San Francisco 4% 1% 4%
San Joaquin 13% 13% 25%
San Luis Obispo 8% 6% 10%
San Mateo 2% 2% 7%
Santa Clara 4% 3% 8%
Santa Cruz 9% 2% 12%
Shasta 19% 20% 19%
Siskiyou 24% 26% 34%
Solano 15% 11% 22%
Sonoma 8% 6% 11%
Stanislaus 15% 12% 25%
Sutter 15% 20% 17%
Tulare 22% 16% 20%
Yolo 14% 10% 13%
Yuba 25% 22% 24%





*Note: C.A.R.’s pending sales information is generated from a survey of more than 70 associations of REALTORS® and MLSs throughout the state. Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, offering solid information on future changes in the direction of the market. A sale is listed as pending after a seller has accepted a sales contract on a property. The majority of pending home sales usually becomes closed sales transactions one to two months later. The year 2008 was used as the benchmark for the Pending Homes Sales Index. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2008.

**C.A.R.’s Market Pulse Survey is a monthly online survey of more than 300 California REALTORS® to measure data about their last closed transaction and sentiment about business activity in their market area for the previous month and the last year.

Leading the way…® in California real estate for 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

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