Recent reports show Bay Area home buyers were more active in March than the previous two months as prices continue to drop.
However, the drop in the median price for a home, from $295,000 in February to $290,000 in March, was significantly less than in previous months, indicating that the market might be near its price bottom, according to MDA DataQuick, a San Diego-based real estate information service.
The number of new and resale houses and condominiums that closed escrow in the Bay Area's nine counties in March was 6,325, up 25.7 percent from February's total of 5,032, and up 29.1 percent from the number sold in March 2008.
But this March's numbers were barely half of the peak sales total for the month, which were 12,645 in 2004, according to DataQuick, which has kept statistics since 1988.
The median price - the point where half of the homes sold for more money and half sold for less - fell only 1.7 percent from February, but was down 45.9 percent from $536,000 in March 2008.
The drop in the median price overstates the decline in the value of the typical Bay Area home as statistics show sluggishness in sales of high-end homes, according to DataQuick.
John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president, said in a statement that "many of those areas are essentially in hibernation, with scant sales."