Existing home sales in the Keystone state are up more than 7% year-to-date, compared to the same time last year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Lemoyne-based Pennsylvania Association of Realtors®.

The median sales price rose 2.8% in the third quarter compared with the comparable quarter last year to $179,854. Days on market dropped to 68 days from 72 in the third quarter, compared to the same period in 2015.

"The housing market continues to see positive growth throughout much of the state," said PAR President Todd Polinchock. "With rental prices and employment opportunities in a consistent climb, year-over-year increases in home buying are expected through the end of the year, but not guaranteed."

The challenge in many markets continues to be inventory. New listings fell by 3.4% over the first three quarters this year, compared to the same time last year. Inventory fell 18.6% in the third quarter of 2016, compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

"We continue to face a low inventory situation in many areas of the state," Polinchock said. "The month's supply dropped to six months from 7.7 months during the third quarter of 2016. We see the demand for homes affected by three factors: Millennials are reaching home-buying age; growing families are looking for larger homes; and empty nesters are downsizing. Low interest rates are prompting some to refinance instead of listing, which contributes to the lower inventory."

"It continues to be a positive market for both buyers and sellers, due to low interest rates and competitive prices," he added.