Economists have long been perplexed by the resilience of the real estate agent. Since the agent bears much of the costs of selling a house, in the time they spend hosting open houses and touring with clients and the money they spend advertising property, they’re rewarded for pressuring clients into selling quickly and accepting suboptimal offers, or in the case of a buyer’s agent, for allowing the client to pay too much.

If you haven’t heard, home prices in the California Southland are up 21% from last February, according to real estate information provider DataQuick. How is this affecting your business? Most agents we’ve talked with are telling us that 2012 is already proving to be a banner year, despite scarcity of homes on the market, and despite the impasses created by lenders to lend. What’s your experience?