Bay Area home prices soar in buyer bidding wars

As many sellers remain on the sidelines, desperate Bay Area homebuyers are streaming through open houses, making offers tens of thousands of dollars above asking price and still coming away empty-handed.

A three-bedroom Dublin home recently drew more than 40 offers. Across the bay in Cupertino, 300 visitors streamed through one home for sale during a weekend showing, said Miawand Bayan of DeLeon Realty.

“It’s nuts,” said Livermore real estate agent Cher Wollard of Prudential California Realty. “We are seeing the evidence of real pent-up demand.”

The intense demand has sent prices soaring, according to a report released Thursday by DataQuick. Potential sellers are either waiting for prices to go higher

A sale pending sign stands in front of a home for sale on February 21, 2013 in Larkspur, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) ( Justin Sullivan )

or are unable to sell because they’re still underwater. And homeowners who want to either downsize or move up are reluctant to sell because there is so little to buy.

The median sales price of an existing single-family home increased 20 to 30 percent in March over the year-ago March in the East Bay, Peninsula and South Bay, the San Diego real estate research company said.

It was the 13th straight month of year-over-year price increases for homes in Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties, according to DataQuick.

Santa Clara County’s median sales price of $665,000 was up 6.4 percent in one month and 24.3 percent from a year earlier. San Mateo County’s median sales price was $760,000, up nearly 10 percent from February and a