If you’re looking to buy a home, October might be the month to do it.

 “October will be the best month for selection and availability until late February,” proclaimed J. Lennox Scott, commenting on the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The organization’s figures throughout its 23-county service area show inventory reached 1.7 months of supply at the end of September — matching its year-to-date high in 2017.

That level is still well below the 4-6 months of supply many industry analysts use as an indicator of a balanced market.

Dick Beeson, principal managing broker at RE/MAX Professionals in Gig Harbor, described the market as “a wonderful adventure,” saying the scarce inventory “is like a dog at the door in winter. It refuses to go away till it’s fed. More houses for sale, please.”

Beeson was also quick to caution, though, that he doesn’t expect that to happen soon for Northwest home buyers. And the low inventory continues to fuel price hikes all over the central Puget Sound region.

Noting King, Pierce and Snohomish counties all reported year-over-year price hikes of more than 14 percent, Mike Grady, president and COO of Coldwell Banker Bain, said, “This leap to new heights is based on high demand and low supply.”

He noted neighboring counties are feeling the pinch, with several of them reporting double-digit drops in supply.