Jack McCabe promises insider’s vantage point, with outside-the-box view

Since the beginning of the new millennium, South Florida has become recognized as an epicenter of the U.S. real estate boom and bust cycle, a catalyst of the severe financial crisis of 2008 to 2009, and arguably, one of the early barometers of the global recession.

As an analyst and consultant I’ve had the strange and fascinating opportunity to investigate, research, study and participate in one of the most dynamic markets in the world at a time of historic rise and disastrous fall.

In the past few years, South Florida’s residential real estate crash has been the subject of hundreds of television pieces and articles around the globe. The new condominium and condo conversions, in particular, inspired dreams of grandeur for buyers, developers and lenders. Ultimately, their failures have turned into nightmares and financial ruin for many.

This is the first in what will be a 400- to 600-word bi-weekly column I’ll write for The Real Deal. Articles will include commercial, residential and economic data; analysis; opinions and predictions.

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Some of the topics I will discuss in future columns are: South Florida’s massive wave of individual unit and project foreclosures; whether it is possible to stem the tsunami; the accelerating wave of bulk deals and opportunistic/vulture buyers making acquisitions; Florida laws that prevent and inhibit real estate recovery; key factors behind the South Florida artificial boom and resultant bust and who the key players are; will future growth and development be more controlled compared to this decade’s free for all; how the downturn will affect local and regional banks; are government population and employment data as well as other indexes that are more effective to predict future real estate accurate; are retail and office assets and notes the next shoes to drop and how rising unemployment will affect real estate in the next two years.

I will present to The Real Deal readers an insider’s vantage point, with an outside-the-box view. My goal is to provide excellent, thought-provoking information on a market where property ownership is desired from people on all four points of the compass, but also includes land mines, pitfalls, piranhas and sharks. I will try to negate the hype, fluff and puff so prevalent in the marketplace and offer an objective, realistic viewpoint of market activities and news.

Most importantly, I want to write about topics that are priorities to our readers. I’ll look for future column ideas from feedback in the comments section following the articles, so please express your story ideas and opinions.

Next up: Is bulk buying of distressed assets now dictating market prices?

Jack McCabe is CEO of McCabe Research & Consulting in Deerfield Beach, Fla. He is an independent real estate analyst and consultant to major developers, lenders, and investors.