March's median price for a resale home reached $286,550 , which signified a 1.6 percent increase from March 2011's pricing.
Even the Inland Empire, where analysts often say the economy is straggling behind its coastal neighbors, saw prices strengthen.
Inland Empire median prices climbed 3.9 percent over March of last year levels to $179,500, with most of the increase being generated by higher prices in Riverside County.
The question, of course, is whether the March data is the beginning of a trend in rebounding prices, or just a one-month break from falling prices.
"I'd like to see what happens in the next three or four months," said Ontario-based agent Victor Quiroz, noting that he sees markets in the western end of San Bernardino County "crawling back."
Quiroz works for The Mulhearn Group's office of Prudential California Realty and said he is cautiously optimistic the past month's jump in California housing prices may signal a stronger market through the summer.
But one month's worth of numbers is not enough to say any development is a trend, and the threat of a "shadow inventory" of soon-to-be foreclosed homes continues to haunt housing markets.
RealtyTrac, an Irvine-based foreclosure listing firm has reported U.S. foreclosures during the first three months of this year hit their lowest point since the end of 2007.
The Irvine-based firm cautioned, however, that their analysts expect another wave of foreclosures as banks finish reforms of faulty foreclosure proceedings and attempt to relieve themselves of non-paying mortgages.
The prospect of additional foreclosures or short sales is a concern to people like Darrell Gomez, a real estate agent at Rancho Cucamonga-based G5 Realty Group, who expects that many people who are struggling to stay in their homes will not be successful.
"(Loan) modifications aren't really helping anybody. It's a temporary Band-Aid," Gomez said.
But even as the many area homeowners continue to struggle, houses are selling in the region.
Inland Empire sales volumes for March rose 1.7 percent on a year-over-year basis, even as statewide sales volumes fell 2.3 percent.
The Realtors' numbers, which do not include newly-built homes, also show the San Bernardino and Riverside counties have a little less than four months' worth of resale homes on the market.
In March 2011, Realtors reported about five months' worth of inventory.
Less inventory generally means higher prices, and Gomez said buyers snapping up inland homes tend to be investors stockpiling properties at the low end of the market as well as traditional buyers seeking bargains.
"A lot of these people are trying to piggyback on these low rates," he said.
As of Thursday, the national average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was only 3.88 percent, according to Freddie Mac.
Darryl Spellacy, owner of San Bernardino-based Spellacy and Associates Realtors, said the idea of a "shadow inventory" is still something to be concerned about, but also doubts banks will unleash a torrent of foreclosures.
"I think the banks have realized it's crazy to do a foreclosure. It's better to do a short sale," Spellacy said.
A short sale takes place when a home is sold for less than the amount of money a homeowner owes on his or her mortgage.
Banks would be wiser to pursue short sales since the process allows someone to live in the house, rather than leave an abandoned house to the mercy of thieves and transients, Spellacy said.
On the whole, Spellacy said he thinks the San Bernardino market has reached bottom and is ready to rebound, given that it's possible to spend less on a mortgage payment than rent.
One of Spellacy's listings, a three-bedroom home on Dogwood Street in northeastern San Bernardino, is on the market for $115,000 and a buyer could end up with monthly payments around $800.
An average three-bedroom apartment in the San Bernardino area would rent for nearly $1,200 per month, according to the USC Casden Forecast.
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