The median price of homes sold last month in King County was $442,250, almost 6 percent higher than a year ago.

But for the fifth consecutive month, sales activity is down annually: Almost 8 percent fewer homes sold in May than a year ago, even though the supply of for-sale homes grew by nearly 11 percent, according to figures published Wednesday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

“There’s inventory, and there’s inventory,” said Mike Gain, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate. While there are more homes for sale, “they obviously are not in the right neighborhoods or the right properties that purchasers are wanting to buy in.”

Bidding wars in some areas are pushing prices beyond the list price, which is supposed to reflect the list agent’s estimate of market value.

“When you have a good property in a desirable location, it is selling for more than we could really justify the value, but buyers are paying it,” Gain said.

The Eastside led the county’s submarkets in appreciation: The median price jumped 10.5 percent over the year to $619,420.

Seattle’s median price of homes sold in May was $490,000, 6.5 percent more than a year ago.

Southwest King County had the lowest median price at $260,000, which was 4 percent higher than a year ago.

Meanwhile, in Snohomish County, 11 percent fewer homes sold in May over a year ago, but the median price increased 8 percent to $325,000.

Sanjay Bhatt: 206-464-3103 or sbhatt@seattletimes.com On Twitter @sbhatt