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.

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 upward pressure on bank-owned home prices, with the median price of REO properties showing a double-digit year-over-year gain of 11 percent in June."

Share of distressed sales to total sales (single-family homes)

Type of Sale

June 2011

May 2012

June 2012

Equity Sales

50.5%

56.0%

58.0%

Total Distressed Sales

49.5%

44.0%

42.0%

REOs

29.2%

22.6%

20.2%

Short Sales

20.0%

21.1%

21.4%

Other Distressed Sales (Not Specified)

0.2%

0.3%

0.4%

All Sales

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Source: California Association of Realtors

There was considerable variation at the county level, with distressed properties accounting for a low of 20 percent of pending sales in affluent Marin County, compared with a high of 63 percent in Lake, San Benito and Solano counties.

Single-family distressed home sales by county (percent of total sales)

County

June 2011

May 2012

June 2012

Amador

51%

50%

55%

Butte

34%

37%

36%

El Dorado

54%

47%

44%

Fresno

57%

57%

54%

Humboldt

29%

34%

29%

Kern

66%

48%

48%

Lake

86%

70%

63%

Los Angeles

47%

41%

41%

Madera

83%

79%

57%

Marin

26%

21%

20%

Mendocino

63%

44%

48%

Merced

64%

54%

52%

Monterey

57%

52%

50%

Napa

51%

44%

47%

Orange

35%

33%

31%

Placer

53%

47%

41%

Riverside

61%

54%

52%

Sacramento

64%

58%

53%

San Benito

74%

59%

63%

San Bernardino

69%

59%

58%

San Diego

28%

23%

22%

San Joaquin

63%

62%

61%

San Luis Obispo

42%

35%

34%

San Mateo

24%

21%

21%

Santa Clara

31%

28%

23%

Santa Cruz

36%

33%

42%

Siskiyou

42%

54%

59%

Solano

72%

70%

63%

Sonoma

51%

45%

40%

Stanislaus

70%

65%

61%

Tehama

73%

65%

45%

Yolo

51%

45%

46%

California

49%

44%

42%

Source: California Association of Realtors

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