Coastal homes during a hurricane endure winds and storm surge

Building in the Danger Zone

Much of the most valuable property across the United States is near the coasts, and the estimated costs from coastal hazards and rising sea levels are enormous — amounting to over a trillion dollars. Florida represents perhaps the best example of the explosive combination of severe weather hazards and a large population. Warm weather and [...]

An aerial view of condos lining the coastline

Cause and Effect of Florida’s New Condo Law

Following the 2021 collapse of the Champlain Tower South condominium in Surfside, Florida, the state Legislature enacted a new law to address high-rise condo safety concerns. The new regulations require increased inspections, specify the involvement of experts, mandate the funding of reserves and remove inspection exemptions. If executed with diligence, these new requirements should improve [...]

Apartment buildings with a retention pond in the foreground and chart lines overlaid on the sky in the background

Ups and Downs for Apartments

Over the last four years, the commercial real estate market has undergone a series of major changes, marked by three periods. First, uncertainty: In 2020, the world was rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns that brought global economies to a virtual standstill. The real estate industry was among the hardest hit as government [...]

Looking down on construction equipment in the middle of a stripped out building

A Narrow Path

Repurposing office buildings to housing has been one of real estate’s hottest topics in recent years. It’s little wonder. In the four years since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, vacancies in office buildings reached record levels and an increasing shortage of housing has plagued parts of the country. Consider two data points: 19.6% of [...]

An aerial view of an industrial storage facility where many trucks and storage containers are parked

Industrial Outdoor Storage May Be the New Self Storage

This may be a good time to start noticing industrial outdoor storage (IOS) facilities, a tiny segment of the industrial sector dominated by small-to-midsize properties with fractured ownership and localized operations. It’s such a small part of the real estate business that you won’t find reliable aggregate returns and other market data to analyze. Instead, [...]

Florida Consumer Sentiment: Floridians are Feeling Better About the Economy

Florida consumers seem more optimistic than they’ve been in more than two years. Floridians’ overall sentiment increased 3.1 points to 72.6 in January from the previous month (Figure 1) — the highest level since September 2021, according to the latest survey from the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR). Source: University [...]

Recent Findings

$1.8B The effect of relaxing local regulations on federal rental assistance programs Researchers from the American Enterprise Institute and Bates White LLC simulated increasing housing supply on the cost of U.S. housing assistance programs in 11 metros. Increased construction from relaxing supply-constraining regulations for a decade would save $1.8 billion and increase the families served [...]

Florida Housing Market Weathers Storm of Higher Interest Rates

Mortgage rates more than doubled the past two years … 3% 6.8% Causing monthly mortgage payments to spike up across Florida … Average monthly principle and interest (P&I) for Florida median-priced home Yet the number of Florida homes sold held fairly steady … And the percentage of homes purchased with cash ticked up only in [...]

Southtown Senior development in Birmingham, Alabama

Building in Birmingham

The Benoit Group leads the $40 million development of 143-unit affordable apartments on a recently demolished low-income housing property near downtown Birmingham, Ala. The 158,000-square-foot project is in the mixed-use redevelopment area known as Edgehill at Southtown. It aims to fill the needs for seniors 62 and older with one- and two-bedroom units. The four-story [...]

Live Local Act

Some Florida real estate experts have called it the most significant state legislation to generate affordable housing in a generation and the first aimed specifically to address the critical need for “workforce” housing. The Live Local Act passed last year to encourage developers to build housing that more people can afford in a state where [...]

A graphic depicting charts and numbers overlaid on each other on a grid with a gradient background that fades from orange to blue

Bergstrom Survey: Spring 2024

Over the past three years real estate professionals have ridden ups and downs through the COVID-19 pandemic, a period of fantastically low debt rates and a responding spike in interest rates that cooled the overheating economy. Going into 2024 it seems investors were left with two ways of viewing economic conditions: either “this is the [...]

Spoken Here: Walter Byrd, Samir Yajnik and Eddy Benoit

The Alfred A. Ring Distinguished Speaker Series brings real estate leaders to campus to speak with UF real estate students and faculty. Walter Byrd is executive managing director at Transwestern, where he and his team help clients like delivery giant DHL locate and negotiate warehouse space. After graduating with a bachelor’s in psychology from UF, [...]