The median price of single-family homes sold in King County in January was $441,500, nearly 8 percent higher than a year ago.

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Last month’s median price of single-family homes sold in King County was $441,500, nearly 8 percent higher than in January a year ago.

Prices rose as buyers closed on 1,340 houses, about 2 percent more than a year ago, according to figures released Thursday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

There were also 2,140 pending sales — mutually agreed contracts that haven’t closed — the best January in at least a decade.

Inventory remained tight, the MLS said, with a two-month supply; a supply of four to six months is considered a balanced market.

Brokers say the shortage is worse than the numbers show because a significant chunk of the two-month supply isn’t in saleable condition.

“We’re a fast-growing area with not enough houses and condominiums on the market,” said Alon Bassok, a researcher at the University of Washington’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies. “We can expect to see housing prices go up.”

Home prices jumped 22 percent annually in North King County, based on sales of 55 houses, leading all of the county’s major submarkets in price gains. The median price there was $435,000.

In Seattle, the median home price was $517,500, 12.5 percent higher. The supply was tightest in northwest Seattle, where the MLS estimates essentially a three-week supply. Fueled by the low inventory, the median price there rose 19 percent over the year.

On the Eastside, the region’s most expensive submarket, the median price was $625,000, up about 4 percent over the year.

The county’s most affordable submarkets, the southwest and southeast regions, saw more moderate annual increases in their median prices, which were $272,000 and $305,000, respectively.

Meanwhile, the median single-family price in Snohomish County in January was $325,000, up 10 percent over the year. Brokers closed 560 sales, up 14 percent from a year ago. Pending sales — 1,017 — were also up almost 10 percent annually.

The number of listings in Snohomish was down 7 percent from a year ago; in King County, there were 14 percent fewer listings.

“We’re around a two-month supply,” said Diedre Haines, regional managing broker in Snohomish County for Coldwell Banker Bain. “One third of it is what we’d consider unsellable.”

The median single-family price in Pierce County was $220,000, essentially the same as a year ago, and in Kitsap, $230,000, 6 percent higher.

In the condominium market, buyers snapped up 13 percent more units in Seattle compared to a year ago. Seattle’s median condo price was $306,576, about 6 percent higher.

About 14 percent fewer condos on the Eastside were sold compared to last year. The median price was $285,000, about 10 percent higher.

While King County’s median condo price rose 6 percent annually to $238,500, prices jumped sharply in Snohomish and Pierce: Snohomish’s median price of $215,000 was 23 percent higher over the year, while Pierce saw its median soar 70 percent to $184,000, the MLS reported.