Tampa Bay's housing machine cranked out higher median prices last month.
In Pinellas, Hillsborough and parts of Pasco and Hernando counties, the median price of single-family homes rose 7 percent to $122,900 in March, up from $115,000 in March 2011.
Foreclosure sales dropped from 1,093 in March 2011 to 508 last month. The 54 percent decline pushed overall sales down from 2,756 to 2,616 in the same period, according to My Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service data.
That could be good news.
As foreclosure sales fell, conventional sales rose 23 percent to 1,513 in the same period. Those sales bring higher prices and more stability to the housing market.
Experts believe this year's spring cycle — sales from March through June — could be the best since the housing crash. The foreclosure crisis flooded the market with inventory as the recession and tight credit dried up the supply of buyers.
Investors gobbled up the bargain-priced homes. But an improving economy and record low interest rates have sent buyers looking for houses in areas not saturated with distressed sales.
Currently, supply is down, and demand is up for single-family homes. Bidding wars are occurring throughout the region.
Mark Puente can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 893-8459. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/markpuente.