Another indicator of an improving housing market was released Wednesday by the California Association of Realtors, which reported its Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) for rose 15.2% from February to 128.7 in March, down only 0.3% from the tax credit fueled market of March 2010.

The state also appeared to be working slowly through its inventory of distressed properties, C.A.R. said.

The share of all distressed property types sold statewide declined in March to 51% from 56% in February and flat with March 2010. Of distressed properties sold statewide, the sales of REO (real estate-owned) fell to 31% in March from 33% in February and 32% in March 2010.

The Realtor group also said the statewide share of short sales fell to 20% from 23 percent in February. Short sales made up 19% of transactions in March 2010.

"Consistent with the state as a whole, nearly all the counties for which we have data also experienced an improvement in distressed sales," said Beth L.Peerce , C.A.R. president . "However, distressed sales in most of the counties were higher than a year ago, as the market continues to work through large numbers of troubled mortgages."

The statewide median price of non-distressed properties sold in March was $386,500, 41% above the short-sale median price of $274,700 recorded in March and 88% higher than the March REO median price of $205,000.

Riverside and San Bernardino counties in the state's Inland Empire continue to lead the state in share of sales classified as distressed at 73% and 75%, respectively.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.