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Even though housing inventory remains tight in most metropolitan markets, home prices during the third quarter held steady, according to the National Association of Realtor’s latest quarterly report.

Compared to the same quarter of last year, single-family home prices increased in 87 percent of measured markets and only decreased in 13 areas, NAR said. That’s a slight dip compared to the second quarter, when price gains were recorded in 93 percent of metro areas.

Twenty-one, or 12 percent, of metro areas saw double-digit increases during Q3, compared to 16 metro areas, or 9 percent, experiencing the same level of increases in the same period last year. In Q2, 34 metro areas saw price gains, NAR said.

The average price for existing, single-family homes in Q3 was $229,000, which is a 5-percent increase over the same period last year.

“While price growth still teetered near or above unhealthy levels in some markets, the good news is that there was some moderation despite the stronger pace of sales,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The demand for buying picked up speed in many metro areas during the summer as more households entered the market, encouraged by favorable mortgage rates and improving local economies.”

Heading into Q4, inventory is expected to remain a problem. According to NAR’s report, at the end of Q3, 2.21 million existing homes were available for sale, compared to the 2.28 million homes available for sale in the same quarter of 2014. Average supply during Q3 was nearly 5 months, down from 5.5 months a year ago.

“Realtors are still reporting that many homes are going under contract more quickly than what’s typical this time of year,” NAR President Chris Polychron said. “While this is certainly beneficial to homeowners looking to sell, some are still reluctant to list out of concerns they’ll have limited time and choices during their own home search.”

Email Amy Swinderman.

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