Home inventory levels are rising and in many areas it’s taking more than 30 days for homes to sell, according to an industry survey released today.

However, strong buyer demand, record and near-record monthly sales, continued median home price appreciation, strong job growth and relatively low mortgage rates are fuelling momentum in the nation’s housing market, according to HouseHunt’s latest market conditions survey.

According to the survey, buyers still outnumber sellers at 61 percent and 39 percent, respectively.

Other highlights from the third-quarter market conditions survey were:

  • Longer days on the market: Fifty-two percent of respondents said it takes more than 30 days to sell a home from listing to contract. This is up from the second quarter when only 35 percent reported 30 days or more. A year ago, the estimate was about 50-50.

  • Inventory is increasing: Fifty-nine percent of respondents said there is a good supply of unsold homes. This contrasts with 38 percent in the second quarter. An overwhelming 85 percent of agents reported that the supply of unsold homes is steadily increasing.

  • Home prices appreciating: Forty-six percent of respondents said home prices have appreciated more than 10 percent in the past year. This is up from 42 percent in the second quarter. It was about 50-50 a year ago.

  • Home sales prices still strong: Sales agents reported that 80 percent of home sellers are getting 95-100 percent of asking prices. This is down from 90 percent in the second quarter. A year ago the percentage was only 67 percent.  

  • First-time-buyer activity remains steady: First-time-buyer activity is estimated at 36 percent in the latest survey, up slightly from 35 percent in the second quarter, 40 percent in the first quarter, and 36 percent a year ago.

  • Market growth: Sixty percent of respondents said the housing market is fueled by job and population growth in many parts of the country. Strong local economies are also a factor. Demand is still outstripping supply.

  • Sellers getting multiple offers: Seventy percent of respondents said they are receiving multiple offers on listings. This estimate is consistent with the last two quarters and a year ago.

  • Buyers still outnumber sellers: Home buyers outnumber sellers 61 percent to 39 percent, according to the survey. This margin is slowly shrinking from a two-to-one margin a year ago.

HouseHunt provides free information to thousands of homeowners, home buyers and home sellers through its two primary Web sites, Househunt.com and moveUp.com.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to jessica@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133.

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