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From Boom To Bust: The Last 10 Years In Miami Real Estate

MIAMI (CBS4) -As the decade comes to a close South Florida knows more about real estate and Wall Street than ever before.  Most describe the real estate decade with harsh terms.

Ed Levine, a retired real estate attorney, called it "a disaster."  Developer Greg Palmer's word is "Terrible."  Homeowner Angela DePass summed it up as "What a slide.  We have experience so much over the past 10 years.  Market going up.  Market going down."

Real Estate consultant Michael Cannon cataloged it all.  His scrapbook of newspaper clippings tells the story. "Is there a housing bubble?" one reads from 2001. That was the headline back in 2001.  Cannon's headlines show the rise and fall of South Florida real estate, and what was behind it.

"The money flowed from wall street in stocks and bond securities.  They said lets do it to real estate.  There was no government oversight.  No policing," said Cannon.

As houses were bought and sold, sometimes on the same day like a stock, this decade was like none other. The real estate investments, declines, and fraud were unprecedented.

Cannon rhetorically asks us "Did it happen in the past?  Yes.  Did it happen to this degree?  No.  We all got caught into it."

But not everyone lost money.  The decade started out quite strong.  Starting in 2001 homeowners began seeing double digit appreciation.  By 2005 the market was so hot, prices had increased by 98 %.  Essentially your home was worth double what it was five years prior.  By 2007 the bubble had burst and so far prices have fallen roughly 40%.  For the homeowner who didn't move the last decade, their home appreciated on average 65%.

Money in Miami, whether by means of investment or fraud, changed the landscape.  Miami's skyline is a perfect example.  Around the year 2000, downtown shutdown as the sun set.  Today it's an urban metropolis welcoming new residents into luxury towers.

The question is what lies in the next decade.  Cannon believes the future will likely lie in your hands. "We are a funny nation.  We are a reactionary nation.  We wouldn't be on the moon today if the Russians didn't send up the Sputnik.  So we have to be challenged.  And this is the great challenge."

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