A recently released report on real estate activity nationwide shows the Seattle metro area with 19 of the 25 most competitive markets in the country.

The study took into account price appreciation, days on the market, how many sales were above list price, and other factors. That stunning result supports what many in the market for a home are currently experiencing: Our region is hot, and competition is fierce.

The latest statistics from the Northwest MLS show closed-sales prices for single­-family homes are again up year-over-year in King County by 15.5%, in Snohomish County by 12.5% and in Pierce County by 12.5%.

Inventory remains the biggest concern for our region’s housing-market health. Brokers are reporting brisk traffic at open houses, and properly priced listings are moving fast. Some are speculating that the Seahawks missing the playoffs this year might have allowed prospective buyers a bit more time on the weekends to visit homes. While that may be true in many cases, the fact is that there are plenty of qualified buyers scouring the market and more entering every day.

It’s a great time to live and work in our area, and to invest in real estate here. There is no shortage of buyers, and for those who’ve been sitting on the fence about selling a home, now is a great time to enter the market and maximize their return.