By MICHAEL BRAGA and MICHAEL POLLICK
Sarasota-Bradenton’s housing market was bright spot in a bleak national landscape during March. The market was the only one among the state’s 20 largest metropolitan areas besides Panama City to post an increase in sales. Sarasota-Bradenton’s increase was 16 percent while Panama City’s was up 28 percent. The median sales price was down 9 percent at $291,500, but there was some good news in even that. The price was actually higher than during the last several months even though it was lower than March 2006.