California recently posted a decrease in completed home sales, however the state is still gaining momentum with the fourth straight annual increase in pending home sales in July, according to the California Association of Realtors.

Just one month after posting a nearly four-year high, home sales in California took a step backwards in the month of July, with year-to-date sales falling from previous year for first time in 18 months, according to a report from CAR.

At first look, it appears California’s housing market in July significantly struggled, but PropertyRadar dug a little deeper into the data, finding that while home sales did decline, it wasn’t as bad as first expected. Some of the decline was due to the month ending on a Sunday, therefore giving two less business days.

The market could be gaining momentum for the coming months as pending home sales increased in July by 3.5% to 122.5 from last year’s 118.4 and 3% from last month’s 119, based on signed contracts. This should translate into an increase of closed transactions in the fall.

The year 2008 was used as the benchmark for the Pending Homes Sales Index.  An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2008.

CAR's pending sales information is generated from a survey of more than 70 associations of Realtors and MLSs throughout the state.

Southern California pulled the market forward with its annual increase of 1.6% in pending home sales while the San Francisco Bay area actually reversed its gain last month with a decrease of 3.5%. Pending home sales in the Central Valley area were flat, down just 0.1% annually.

During the first half of the year, single-family home and condominium sales dropped 10.3% in San Francisco from the same period last year, bringing home sales to their lowest point since 2008.

In fact, home sales are cooling in San Francisco, leaving room for Oakland, California to catch up and, perhaps soon, overtake it.