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A report out last Friday from the California Association of Realtors shows the number of previously owned homes in escrow remained flat in May as compared to April, but that result still represents a double digit gain in year-over-year figures for nine of the last ten months.

The Association’s “Pending Home Sales Index,” which tracks the number of properties under contract to be sold, was at 128.8, up from 115.8 in May of 2011. Overall, May was the 13th straight month of increases in home sales, as banks have moved toward approving “short sales,” where they accept a discounted payoff instead of forcing a foreclosure.

As the market improves and many areas realize the first significant value increases in years, the percentage of sales involving homeowners with equity is also rising. These transactions represented 59.3 percent of all sales last month, compared to 55.8 percent in April and 51 percent overall a year ago.

Bank-owned inventory, which totals over 4,000 in San Diego and currently makes up about 21 percent of the total of available homes on the market, has shrunk from a total equal to two months’ total supply to 1.5 months in the span of a month.

While buyer activity, driven by low interest rates and increased optimism in the real estate market (perpetuated in no small part by the various Associations of Realtors), acts to increase sales, values remain somewhat hampered by a return to the market of sellers with equity that have been waiting for a turnaround to list their properties. The Reader’s Don Bauder reported yesterday that values in April were up 1.4 percent compared to March, but still down 1.8 percent versus last year.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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