So is the glass half full or is it half empty? That depends onwho you ask. "These are the best of times and the worst of times,"said Flagler Real Estate Services Inc. managing director JackLowell. "It's the best of times if you're a landlord and it's theworst of times if you're a tenant or tenant representative."

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McCabe Research & Consulting LLC CEO and managing partnerJack McCabe, one of the participants in the "Pardon theInterruption" session that kicked off the event, is among thosethat see the glass half empty. According to research figures, thereis a five-and-a-half to six-year supply of condominiums currentlyon the market in Miami-Dade County. "A healthy supply would beeight months," said McCabe, who estimates that the oversupply willnot be absorbed until at least 2010. "We've built an artificialmarket on artificial demand."

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Integra Realty Resources-Miami managing director Michael Cannon,the other "Pardon the Interruption" participant, dissented, citingthe 83,511 closings that have taken place in South Florida. "Theremay be a rolling back, but we're not in a recession," Cannonsaid.

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Several participants pointed out that one aspect of SouthFlorida that bodes well for the future is its geographicconstraints. "The South Florida market is like an island," saidFairchild Partners principal Jose Juncadella. "There are only 16miles between the Atlantic Ocean and the Everglades. There is verylittle land available for development."

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Participants also pointed out that, although much has been madeof the credit crunch facing the industry earlier in the year due tothe fallout of the subprime market, there is still debt and equityin the marketplace. Lenders, however, have made adjustments intheir assessments of risk and reward. "South Florida is stillviewed favorably around the country and the world," said Marcus& Millichap senior vice president/managing director GeneBerman. "There is plenty of debt, plenty of equity particularly foroffice, retail and industrial deals."

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In general, participants did not see a recession looming for2008, just a rollback from the activity from previous year and areturn to the fundamentals of commercial real estate market. "Thereis greater caution, greater emphasis on risk and reward and greaterdiscipline," said Wachovia senior vice president/market manager,real estate financial services David Warne. "The economy is stillgrowing; we are not in a recession. It's just slower than it's beenin the past four to five years."

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