San Gabriel Valley Home Sales – “Pending home sales in California hit their highest level in eight months in March and the percentage of short sales plummeted to levels not seen since 2008, according to the California Association of Realtors. …
San Gabriel Valley Home Sales:
Final Numbers For March
Number Of “Short Sales” Drops Sharply
When we look at “Pending Home Sales” we are looking at the activity on the market Right Now. “Closed” sales are those properties that have actually closed escrow and been recorded. These are the actual “done deals” and the usual number we pay really close attention to, as it takes into account all the influences which might cause a property to “fall out” of escrow.
However, the “Pending Sales” number is also important. It shows us exactly what is happening on the market at the moment. An escrow may take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months to complete, depending on the property and the makeup of the transaction itself. In many cases a transaction will record in April, but the Buyer actually made the offer in February. The market activity that precipitated that offer is actually 3 months old by the time the recording of the sale occurs. Thus, we’re looking at “market history”, not “current conditions”.
The Pending Home Sales number is the number of escrows opened during the month. It tells us how many buyers wrote offers and how many properties they put into escrow. This is a more current and immediate number to look at.
We have some new numbers out, and they’re very good in several respects, but reflect a market that is very “narrow”. It’s “narrow” in the sense that some sectors are good, but many are fairly stagnant. The market is still moving along, but there is not a wide coalition of driving factors. Rather, our current market movement is provided by a very small base of very active buyers.
Here’s a comprehensive article from Kevin Smith in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune:
http://www.sgvtribune.com Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:33:23 GMT
Pending sales — a forward-looking indicator of future home sales activity — were still off 9.9 percent from the revised 126.9 index recorded in March 2013. But the year-over-year decline in the index has been tapering over the past few months, CAR reported. … The share of equity sales — or non-distressed property sales — has also risen steadily over the past year. …
Activity Has Actually Slowed Since Last Year
The market action seems firm, but activity has slowed since the first of the year. At the beginning of 2013 there was a surge in prices and activity, but then interest rates rose and slowed things down. The article above quoted the owner of our firm here in Monrovia, Tom Adams, as saying, “A lot of it (market activity) is offshore money … Asian investors are really the only thing that is keeping California’s housing market alive right now. We’d be in dire straits if it wasn’t for that.”
(Photo from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune – SGVN/Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)