Direct time integration methods are usually applied to determine the dynamic response of systems with local nonlinearities. Nevertheless, these methods are computationally expensive to predict the steady state response. To significantly reduce the computational effort, a new approach is proposed for the multiharmonic response analysis of dynamical systems with local nonlinearities. The approach is based on the describing function (DF) method and linear receptance data. With the DF method, the kinetic equations are converted into a set of complex algebraic equations. By using the linear receptance data, the dimension of the complex algebraic equations, which should be solved iteratively, are only related to nonlinear degrees of freedom (DOFs). A cantilever beam with a local nonlinear element is presented to show the procedure and performance of the proposed approach. The approach can greatly reduce the size and computational cost of the problem. Thus, it can be applicable to large-scale systems with local nonlinearities.