Homes in the United States took nearly 11 percent longer to sell in the third quarter than in the previous three months, according to a new survey of real estate brokers.

The RE/MAX Index, compiled from a survey of brokers at 1,400 RE/MAX real estate offices, showed that an average of 92 days was required to sell a home in the third quarter, up nine days from the second quarter of the year.Homes in the northeast region took almost three weeks longer to sell than they did in the second quarter, averaging 130 days on the market. Homes in the northwest region are selling at the slowest rate in the country, up 11 days from the previous quarter.

Southwest homes, by contrast, continue to sell at the fastest rate, particularly in California, where the average home was on the market for 38 days in the third quarter.

Research also indicates that housing starts and existing home sales fell in all regions of the United States except for the West, where the housing sales show some strength,said Dave Liniger, chief executive officer of RE/MAX,

According to Liniger, even though interest rates were down somewhat in the third quarter, one of several factors behind this slowing of homes sales is related to the high cost of financing.

"Financing is available," said Liniger,"but affordable financing is not as available as it used to be."