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Decline in REOs blamed for sagging California home sales

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The California Association of Realtors says inventory shortages dented pending home sales in June, as lenders signed off on more short sales but had fewer "real estate owned" properties, or REOs, to market.CAR's Pending Home Sales Index was down 3.8 percent from May to June, but at 121.4 was up 4.7 percent from a year ago. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2008.REO's accounted for 20.2 percent of pending sales in June, down from 29.2 percent a year ago. Short sales were up, but only slightly, accounting for 21.4 percent of sales statewide, compared with 20 percent a year ago.All told, distressed properties (short sales, REOs and others) accounted for 42 percent of pending sales, down from 49.5 percent a year ago."Pending sales declined in June, partly due to a lack of housing supply -- especially in REO properties," CAR President LeFrancis Arnold said in a statement. "The shortage of REO inventory is also putting upw...