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Home sale contracts declined last month in California

May 22, 2012|By Alejandro Lazo
  • A worker tapes a window ledge while working on a home in San Diego's San Elijo Hills community.
A worker tapes a window ledge while working on a home in San Diego's… (Sam Hodgson / Bloomberg )

The number of contracts signed for new home purchases in the Golden State dropped nearly 8% last month as the inventory of homes for sale remained tight, according to a real estate group.

The California Assn. of Real Estate’s home sale index of pending sales declined 7.9% from March, though that was up 11.9% from April 2011. The index is based on the number of contracts signed by potential buyers and is one indicator of where the housing market is headed.

“Inventory constraints could be a contributing factor to lower pending sales,” said LeFrancis Arnold, president of the real estate group. “The tight inventory we’ve been experiencing in the distressed market over the past several months is now spreading.”

Sales overall in the last few months have been better than last year, but real estate agents have complained that they might be better if there were more properties on the market. Investors have snapped up properties vigorously in recent months. Non-distressed sales are also becoming increasingly competitive, real estate agents said.

A separate report by the National Assn. of Realtors said that the number of closed sales nationally were up 3.4% from March and were up 10% from the same month last year.

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