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New data from the California Association of Realtors corroborates private firm data released last week regarding the decline in “distressed” housing sales, and finds that nearly 80 percent of home sales in June were conducted by sellers in a positive-equity position.

Overall, 20.1 percent of closed transactions last month were considered distressed, including foreclosures and short sales, in which a bank agrees to a reduced payoff in order to allow a borrower to walk away from an “underwater” property. That’s down from 21.8 percent in May and less than half the 42.2 percent market share of distressed property sales in June 2012.

Locally, the numbers in San Diego County are even better, with distress sales falling from 22 percent of the total market a year ago to six percent last month. San Diego’s distressed sale rate is the lowest in the state, significantly lower than other Southern California markets (14 percent distress rate in Orange County, 21 percent in Los Angeles, 26 percent in Riverside).

The latest Association report finds inventories still tight, with available housing supply equivalent to about 1.7 months’ demand. Typical inventory for a stable market is six months’ worth of demand, so an actual inventory of less than one-third that amount indicates that pricing will continue to rise in the short term, despite concern from experts that the market had already surpassed its natural value months ago.

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