It’s a new year, but the landscape remains the same in the Puget Sound housing market. Brokers with the Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported historic lows for inventory and year-over-year price gains in most areas.

“I’ve never seen inventory this low in Kitsap County in 27 years,” remarked Northwest MLS director Frank Wilson, branch managing broker at John L. Scott Real Estate in Poulsbo. That county’s number of active listings last month plunged nearly 40 percent from year-ago levels.

At month end, there were only 397 active listings in Kitsap County (down from the year-ago total of 659), a level Wilson described as “exceptionally low,” even accounting for seasonal factors. “A normal inventory in Kitsap County used to be 1,500 to 1,700, but we have not seen that number of active listings in several years,” he lamented. Northwest MLS data show the last time inventory topped 1,500 in that county was in July 2014 when there were 1,503 listings at month end.

Kitsap is one of three counties in MLS’ central Puget Sound region with less than one month of supply, joining King and Snohomish. Pierce isn’t far behind, at 1.1 months of inventory.

J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, believes the Central Puget Sound housing market will remain one of the strongest in the nation.

“It will be another happy new year for real estate activity,” he said. As the new year unfolds, he expects buyers “will emerge from winter holiday hibernation in big numbers,” in part thanks to the Seahawks.

“Without the Seahawks in the football playoffs, the 2018 housing market will be more intense earlier in January rather than heating up after the Super Bowl,” Scott said.