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Tight inventory and a flood of entry-level buyers are contributing to a continued rise in home prices, according to a new report out from the California Association of Realtors trade group released April 15.

“Statewide inventory dropped 36 percent from last March and was below three months for the second time in the past few months. Supply conditions are particularly tight in the lower-priced segment of the market, as inventory for homes priced below $300,000 plunged more than 50 percent from the previous year,” says Association president Don Faught.

The median sales price for existing single-family detached homes spiked from $333,380 in February to $378,960 in March, the biggest month-to-month jump since the Association began tracking such data in 1979. The jump, however, actually brings prices in line with January numbers, after many high-end sales were jammed onto the books in December 2012 before new capital gains tax rates took effect.

As usual, San Diego County’s prices were much higher than the statewide average: the $436,710 median reported last month represents an increase of 7.2 percent over February 2013 and 20.1 percent over a year ago. The median marketing time for a house in San Diego was 26.6 days last month, less than half the 52.1 days it took to sell a home a year ago.

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