California pending home sales improved from the previous month and year, however, overall market conditions appear to be slowing down and closed transactions plateauing, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.
Cooling market conditions were reflected in C.A.R.’s September Market Pulse Survey,** with most leading indicators showing a decline in growth and REALTORS® becoming less optimistic about market expectations and more concerned with lower housing affordability.
Making sense of the story
- Statewide pending home sales increased in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* rising 5.3 percent from 121.3 in August to 127.7 in September, based on signed contracts. On an annual basis, California pending home sales were up 10.5 percent from the September 2015 index of 115.5 – the sixth consecutive year-to-year increase.
- At the regional level, for Southern California as a whole, pending sales dropped 4.6 percent on a monthly basis, the third month-to-month decline. On an annual basis, pending sales were up 15.3 percent in the region. Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties posted healthy year-over-year increases of 15.9 percent, 13.3 percent, and 15.7 percent, respectively.
- For the Bay Area as a whole, pending sales were 2 percent higher than August and 8.6 percent higher than September 2015, driven by strong year-over-year pending sales gains of 20.2 percent in San Mateo County and 24.2 percent in Santa Clara County. In San Francisco County, pending sales inched up 1.9 percent.
- Overall pending sales in the Central Valley posted a 5 percent monthly increase and a 7.5 percent annual gain. One exception for the region was Kern County, where pending sales declined 4.5 percent from a year ago, due to a decline in oil prices and the economy’s reliance on the energy sector.