California pending home sales rose from last month and the previous year for the first time in seven months, while share of equity sales also increased, marking a four-year high, according to the California Association of Realtors

The Pending Home Sales Index rose 4.3%, with 120.2 in October compared to 115.2 last month, based on signed contracts. Pending home sales are up 3.6% from the 116.1 index recorded last year.

Pending home sales provide information on the future direction of the market and activity within the industry.

Non-distressed property sales increased 63.4% in October, up from 63% a month prior, which is the highest level since 2008. Equity sales accounted for 49% of all sales last year. 

The combined share of all distressed property sales dipped 36.6% this month, down from 37% last month. This is also down from 51% last year.

Short sales were 24.4%, up from 22.6% a year ago. Real-estate owned sales dropped from 12.3% in September to 11.8% in October. REO sales were also down from 28% last year.

"The strong pace of pending sales in October is a continuation of what we’ve experienced for most of 2012, with demand remaining robust across all parts of the state," said 2013 president Don Faught at CAR. 

He added, "Non-distressed sales – which are up nearly 50 percent from a year ago – are especially strong, while REO sales are down more than 51 percent, primarily due to a short supply of REOs. The significant increase in non-distressed sales has driven the share of equity sales to its highest level in more than four years."

cmlynski@housingwire.com