Pending home sales in California increased 4.4% in June from one year ago and were up 1.9% from the previous month, the second-straight gain for one of the hardest hit states since the housing downturn, according to the California Association of Realtors. The distressed property share of the market remained unchanged from the previous month, totaling 47% of all sales. Of these 19% were short sales, dipping from 20% in May. REO made up 27% of all sales in the state, relatively unchanged from the month before. "Pending home sales have improved in the last couple of months and the next few months should bring continued gains," said CAR President Beth Peerce. Foreclosure activity is on the decline in the state as well. According to real estate data provider DataQuick, default notice filings dropped 19.2% in the second quarter from last year. The 56,633 filings was a four-year low. Some counties are heading toward a recovery faster than others. Distress sales made up 20% of the market in Humboldt County, in the far northwestern part of the state. That's compared to Riverside and San Bernardino counties in Southern California where roughly 69% of sales were distressed properties. "So much depends on the direction of the economy, going forward," Peerce said. "As for the makeup of the market, distressed sales continue to be a significant part of the market with the split between short sales and REO sales varying greatly across the state." Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.