The packaging of homes into multimillion-dollar real estate bundles by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has made South Florida real estate prime for the picking—if you’ve got the cash.
That’s meant tough times for small investors and a heyday for hedge funds and other institutional investors scouting for deals.
“What’s happening is Florida mortgages of foreclosed properties that were financed through FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac are being bundled and sold to hedge funds,” said real estate analyst and consultant Jack McCabe, founder and chief executive officer of McCabe Research and Consulting in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
Individuals Shut Out
“The problem is that you have to be a very large entity to buy the properties,” McCabe said. “An individual like myself, or you, or anyone else, is never going to be able to qualify to buy these.”
McCabe believes the outsize role of the government, and of large investors, is creating imbalances in the real estate market, boosting property prices  and rental rates and keeping homes out of the hands of individual owners.
Luis Valdeon, owner of The Miami Dade Foreclosure List , agreed.
“In four years, rentals went up 60 percent” in Miami, Valdeon said of an analysis he conducted using his data. Nationally, rental rates are forecasted to rise 4.6 percent this year, following a 4.1 percent bump last year, according to the National Association of Realtors. 
Nationally, the number of single-family homes as a share of all rentals jumped from 30.8 percent to 33.5 percent between 2005 and 2010, the biggest registered increase among all types of rentals , according t