San Diego County’s median price for a single family house in March increased nearly 19 percent to $380,000 compared to the same month last year, according Dataquick, the La Jolla real estate research firm.

Total sales in the county last month rose 16 percent to 3,762 units, although it would have been higher if there was more inventory to choose from, said Dataquick.

Because of the lack of supply, the median housing price throughout the six-county region stretching from San Diego to Ventura increased 23 percent from a year earlier to $345,500. That’s the highest it’s been since 2007 when the recession began.

John Walsh, Dataquick president, said prices “have nowhere to go but up in many areas.” Gains are especially high now because of the change in the market mix of sales, with increasing sales of higher-priced houses and fewer of lower-cost ones.

Activity in the move-up market continued to gain steam last month, with sales for houses priced from $300,000 to $800,000 increasing 29.5 percent over the full year.

Cash buyers are still a major force in the region, and made up 34 percent of last month’s sales, compared to a record 36.9 percent for February, and 34 percent for March 2012, Dataquick said.

The cash buyers paid a median of $280,750 in March, up nearly 31 percent from the median paid in the same month last year.

The most active lenders in Southern California last month were Wells Fargo Bank with 8.2 percent of the purchased home loans;, with 2.8 percent; and Prospect Mortgage and Bank of America, each at 2.4 percent.

— SDBJ Staff Report