San Francisco Bay Area home sales surged to near-record levels in April as buyers scrambled to lock in mortgage financing before interest rates soared any more, reported DataQuick Information Systems, a real estate information service. Prices increased at the fastest pace in three years. About 12,400 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the nine-county Bay Area region in April, up 12.8 percent from March and up 24.2 percent over April 2003, DataQuick reported. The April sales count was the highest for any April in DataQuick's records, which date back to 1988, and was the second-highest number for any calendar month, slightly behind the record of 12,488 for August of last year. Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president, said, "Potential buyers figure that today's mortgage interest rates are lower than they will be a few months from now. Current purchase activity is probably pulling in sales activity that would have happened a few months down the line if interest rates had been f...
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