The U.S. housing market has reached a balance in buyer and seller demand, according to a survey released Thursday, with 41 percent of participating real estate agents saying they had more buyers and sellers, 40 percent saying they had more sellers than buyers and 19 percent reporting a 50-50 balance.

The most notable exceptions are in the Northeast, the Chicago metropolitan area and in the Western states, according to the survey from HouseHunt. Home buyers outnumber sellers by considerable margins in Chicago and the West, while sellers outnumber buyers in the Northeast.

The second-quarter national survey also found:

  • Fifty-six percent of member agents said it is now taking, on average, more than 60 days from listing to contract to sell a house. This is up from 55 percent in the first quarter and 35 percent a year ago. Twenty-eight percent said it is taking more than 90 days to contract. Only 15 percent of existing homes are selling in 30 days or less.

  • Housing inventories are continuing to increase: 86 percent now report a good supply in virtually all price ranges. This is up from 81 percent in the first quarter and 38 percent a year ago.

  • Sixty-six percent of member agents reported that annual home-price appreciation is now 5 percent or less. This is down from 8-10 percent a year ago. Home-price appreciation of more than 10 percent is now 16 percent, on average.

  • The percentage of home sellers getting 95 percent or more of asking prices is currently 68 percent, compared with 90 percent a year ago. Three months ago it was 75 percent.

  • First-time buyers still account for one of three home sales nationwide. Repeat and move-up buyers are most active in higher priced markets. Recent home-price appreciation and rising mortgage interest rates has had only a minimal negative effect on first-time buyers, on average, with the exception of marginal qualifiers.

HouseHunt has a network of more than 1,500 member agents representing exclusive territories in 47 states.

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