The sudden turnaround in the housing market after a prolonged slump has left eager buyers engaging in bidding wars and paying higher prices for what has turned out to be a limited number of homes. According to the National Association of Realtors, the for-sale inventory is at its lowest volume since 1999. Real estate agents in especially affected areas have taken to knocking on doors in desirable neighborhoods to try to persuade owners to sell. Meanwhile, builders have been caught short and are racing to increase production to meet the swelling demand; but their efforts have been hamstrung by an inadequate labor force and overwhelmed permit offices. | Read More