After deep declines from 2007 to 2009, home prices countywide started rebounding last year and have continued to rise in the first part of 2012.
Fewer than 5,700 single-family homes are on the market countywide, down 48 percent from a year ago. Frustrated buyers often search for months and either get outbid or don't find what they're looking for, realestateagents say.
"A lot of homes are going for full price now," said Beverly Rothstein, an agent in Broward and Palm Beach counties. "Buyers aren't able to negotiate as much."
Robust sales over the past year have taken a lot of homes off the market. In addition, many homeowners are staying put because they owe more than the house is worth in today's market. If they sold, they'd owe their lender.
Lenders are resuming foreclosures after holding off in the past year amid concerns over paperwork errors. Analysts expect banks to release more foreclosed properties, which would boost inventory levels and hurt prices. Agents say they've yet to see this so-called shadow inventory