Pending home sales shot up in California during the month of February as more buyers signed contracts to acquire homes, the California Association of Realtors said Monday. 

C.A.R.'s pending home sales index grew from 102.3 in January to 127.8 in February.

The index is based on the number of pending sales contracts signed each month. Contract activity is a sign of future home sales activity, and a sign of just how strong the home sales market is in certain areas.

In February, the share of distressed sales recorded in California fell due to a lack of inventory in the bank-owned segment and in the short-sale market, CAR said.

"In fact, REO inventory declined 24% in February from the previous year, while short sale inventory dropped 17% during the same period," said C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold.

Equity sales in California made up 51.1% of home sales in February, compared to 49.9% and 44.8% of all sales in January 2012 and February 2011, respectively. 

kpanchuk@housingwire.com