“The new real estate model works,” Alicia Cervera says.

The area where locals may see fastest price relief is the downtown rental market. There are about 3,200 conventional rental units under construction downtown, with at least another 7,000 in the pipeline, according to the DDA study. Most are going up in Brickell and the central business district.

The demand from young professionals who want to live near downtown restaurants, shops and bars is growing, developer Carlos Melo said.

"These are people who aren't ready to buy but who have good jobs and want to be close," Melo said. "We really see so much room in this market because many developers have focused on condos." In May, the Melo Group plans to open a 500-unit in the Omni area called Melody where two-bedroom apartments rent for about $2,000. 

The new inventory could help constrain rising rental rates.

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