SAN DIEGO (AP) — Home sales dropped and prices rose in the San Francisco Bay area last month as supplies remained tight, the real estate research firm DataQuick reported Thursday.
A total of 5,404 houses and condominiums were sold, down 1.8 percent from January and more than 6 percent from February of 2012, DataQuick said.
The median sales price for a home in the nine-county area was $405,000. That was down 2.4 percent from January but still nearly 25 percent higher than a year ago.
Although prices remain well below the peak of several years ago, they have soared by double digits each month for the past nine months when compared with the same months a year earlier. The gains have topped 20 percent in the past four months in year-over-year comparisons, DataQuick said.
"Isn't this Economics 101? Supply and demand?" DataQuick President John Walsh asked in a statement. "If demand outstrips supply in a free market, the price goes up."
"Now, with a recovering economy, prices still closer to the bottom than to the top, with ultra-low mortgage interest rates and tight supply, the stage is set for price gains. This spring is going to be interesting," Walsh said.
There were continuing indications that California's housing market is recovering from its five-year slump.