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Bay Area Median Home Price Approaches All-Time High

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The number of Bay Area homes sold in March hit a five-year high, with the region's median sales price creeping up towards last summer's all-time high, according to real estate research firm CoreLogic.

The number of new and existing homes and condominiums sold in the nine-county region was 7,287 in March, up 51.5 percent from February and 4.4 percent over March 2016, according to CoreLogic.

The median price for all homes sold in the Bay Area in March was $709,000, up 9.1 percent from last March and just 0.1 percent below the all-time high of $710,000.

Although, adjusting for inflation, the March median was about 11 percent below the June 2006 peak.

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"A February-to-March spike in home sales is a seasonal norm, but this year's nearly 52 percent jump was among the highest on record," CoreLogic research analyst Andrew LePage said in a written statement Thursday.  "Job growth and the stock market run-up this year are among the factors that have stoked sales."

"It's unclear whether heavy rains might have delayed some winter activity, resulting in more deals that closed in March," LePage said.

It's also possible that more people jumped into the housing market in expectation of mortgage rates continuing to rise, according to LePage.

Alameda County saw heavy sales activity in March, with a 10.6 percent increase over the same month last year. Santa Clara County saw a year-over-year increase of nearly 10 percent.

The median home price in Santa Clara County was $988,500, up 8.4 percent from last March. In Alameda County, the price hit a median of $730,000, up 13.7 percent from March 2016, according to CoreLogic.

San Francisco saw decreased sales, with March numbers dropping 5.3 percent from last year and the median price hitting $1.1 million, a 4.3 percent drop.

"Looking ahead, affordability will be a major factor for Bay Area home shoppers," LePage said. "If current trends hold, the region's media sale price could easily surpass the current record ... during this spring or summer."

© Copyright 2017 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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