Home buyers signed slightly fewer contracts for California homes last month, as would-be purchasers face rising interest rates that are making homes more expensive, according to a new report.
The California Assn. of Realtors said Thursday that its pending sales index fell 1.5% in July from a year earlier. Over the month, the index inched down 0.2%.
Pending sales represent contracts signed but not closed, and provide a look into future sales activity. The pending contracts tend to close one or two months later. Last month, sales of existing, single-family houses rose 7% from June and 1.5% from a year earlier.
The swift housing rebound — especially in the state’s coastal regions — has shut the door on many, particularly first-time home buyers who often must compete with cash investors in more affordable neighborhoods.
During the second quarter of last year, 51% of Californians could afford a median-priced home, according to the trade group. A year later, only 36% could do so.
Also on Thursday, the Realtor association said distressed sales continued to decline in July, accounting for 17.1% of all existing, single-family sales. That's down from 20.1% a month earlier.
The supply of homes was basically unchanged from June, the association said.
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