South Florida property values up 11%, analysts point to investors in rising home prices

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- - Home values are rising across South Florida, up 11% from last year according to Standard and Poor's Case-Shiller real estate index.

The figures are good news for homeowners but not for buyers who are struggling to find a home.

Tommy and Brandy Pelkoswki just got married and they have been searching to find a home to call their own. The couple has been trying for months, but has yet to have an offer accepted.

"We'll go in and see a house that's been on the MLS listings and before we even get a chance to see it, it's contingent," said Tommy Pelkowski.

Tommy and Brandy Pelkoswki said they have put in three offers in one neighborhood but someone has beat their best offer each time.

"We've even tried writing a little letter, like a personal letter, 'we really like your home, you took good care of it, would you please accept our offer?' And no one wants it," said Brandy Pelkowski.

The couple said by the time they set foot on a available property, it is gone from "for sale" to "sold."

"There are a lot of investors right now that are paying cash that are pushing up prices that is for sure," said Michael Schwartz of Flagship Financial Services.

Schwartz, a loan officer, said it is investors who are pushing up real estate prices in South Florida. He said they are buying homes and putting them up for rent.

"They're holding onto the properties for a few years with the intention to unload them at a different time," said Schwartz.

Schwartz said it means there are less homes on the market for couples like Tommy and Brandy Pelkoswki. For now, their dream home is on hold.

"At this point, there's nothing on the market to buy. So people are being forced to rent," said Brandy Pelkoswki.

Schwartz said homebuyers should look into their neighborhood they want to live in because many HOAs have strong rules again homes being bought for the purpose of renting.

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