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Home prices jump again in Bay Area housing market

Home prices jump again in Bay Area housing market
Bay Area home prices climbed 18.9% in May from a year earlier. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

Bay Area home prices continued their surge in February, even as the number of sales slumped.

The median price of a house sold in the Bay Area hit $540,000, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. That's up 2.9% from January and one-third higher than the median price a year ago.

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Sales volume fell 8.2% to its lowest February total since 2008 and sat nearly one-fifth below historical averages for the month. High prices and tougher mortgage requirements are factors, said DataQuick President John Walsh, but the biggest thing holding sales down is a simple lack of homes on the market. With prices as high as they are, he predicted, that has to change soon.

"It's going to be fascinating to watch how things play out between now and June," he said in a statement. "At some point, rising home prices will trigger a more significant increase in the number of homes on the market. It's just a question of when."

The numbers come a day after DataQuick released February numbers for Southern California showing the median price basically flat at $383,000 -- about where it's been since June -- and sales down 12%.

Twitter: @bytimlogan

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