Last month’s home sales in the San Francisco Bay Area made for the strongest March in 15 years as sales surged and prices moved up to a new peak, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

 

A total of 11,015 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the nine-county region in March. That was up 48.6 percent from 7,412 the month before and up 24.9 percent from 8,818 for March last year, according to DataQuick.

 

An increase from February to March is normal for the season. Last month’s sales count was the highest for any March since 11,442 homes were sold in March 1989.

 

“More people want to buy than there are homes for sale. That pushes prices up. We’re moving into the summer season and with interest rates edging up, the market will probably be even more pressured,” said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president.

 

The median price paid for a Bay Area home was $474,000 last month, a new peak. Last month’s median was up 3.7 percent from $457,000 in February and up 13.1 percent from $419,000 for March last year. At current appreciation rates, the median will break the $500,000 mark in June or July.

 

DataQuick, a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates, monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts.

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