Following a volatile start to the year, Bakersfield’s single-family home market returned last month to what a prominent observer termed normal conditions as new data showed the city’s median sale price for an existing house sliding 2.4 percent to hit $370,000, or 1.2 percent less than a year earlier amid higher interest rates.

The report by local appraiser Gary Crabtree said the median price for a newly built home in March fell more steeply — it was down 6.2 percent month over month at $446,500 — to settle 5.9 percent below its level a year before.