March 6, 2013

The Wednesday Wrap: March 6, 2013

Each Wednesday, The Wrap
presents a compilation of recent noteworthy commercial real estate stories from
a variety of publications. Below are five stories that caught our eyes in
recent days.

Development Projected to Reach Four-Year High”
by Carisa Chappell of

Analysts are projecting that 2013 will bring the largest
wave of new apartment supply in several years, Chappell reports.

This year will be the first since 2009 that the number of
new apartment units added will be at a historic-average level, according to
estimates from CoStar. CoStar is projecting 140,000 units will be delivered in

Some markets could see higher vacancy rates as they become
saturated with new units, Chappell reports.

Rent growth remains moderate in some areas as income growth
is slow and renters are finding housing more affordable, Chappell notes.

Employers Choosing ‘Open’ Offices”
by Victor Epstein via USA Today.

Some of the nation’s largest employers are spending billions
to transform workplaces into “open offices,” Epstein reports.

Use of open-office design — a style that ditches traditional
corner offices and cubicles for collaborative workspaces — is growing at a
double-digit pace, experts say. 

Open offices leverage today’s cordless technology for
communal workspaces. Cubicle walls are lowered, and private offices are
relocated away from windows, Epstein reports.

The green-building movement also has played a role in the
new designs as natural light is utilized more, Epstein notes.

“It’s about building the environment that we need to attract
and retain today’s knowledge workers,” said Ralph Eucher, who is spearheading
the renovation of Principal Financial Group’s offices in Iowa.

For-Sale Markets Buck Odds, Rise Together”
by Bendix Anderson for National
Real Estate Investor.

Traditionally, apartments and for-sale housing markets
directly compete with each other, but today rental demand and housing sales are
rising at the same time, according to Walter Maloney of the National
Association of Realtors.

During the past few years, growth in the number of households
lagged as many adults were living in shared dwellings. But now more people are
deciding to live alone, formulating new households and creating demand for both
rentals and for-sale housing, Anderson notes.

Because housing inventory has been low for so long, both
rental units and for-sale houses are in short supply, Anderson reports. 

Mall REITs Face Limited Growth Opportunities in 2013”
by Elaine Misonzhnik
of Retail Traffic.

Conditions in the regional mall REIT sector will remain
about the same in 2013, with few opportunities for acquisitions or development
of new properties, according to sector analysts.

The good news is that occupancies and tenant sales should
remain strong and rents are expected to rise, Misonzhnik reports. At the end of
the fourth quarter, the national vacancy rate for regional malls was only 8.6
percent, according to Reis, while asking rents only rose 1 percent in 2012.

This means regional mall REITs should be able to raise rents
as more retailers expand, according to investor Todd Sullivan.

Some regional malls may be able to grow this year through
redevelopment and expansion of existing centers, Rich Moore, a REIT analyst
with RBC Markets, told Misonzhnik.

“REIT Investors More Confident in Health Care, Mortgage Sectors in February”


In this clip,’s Carisa Chappell sits down with Brad
Case, NAREIT’s senior vice president for research and industry information, to
examine the REIT market.

Case discusses REIT performance during February, the
increased investor confidence in the healthcare and mortgage sectors, and
concern over the influence of federal budget cuts on the REIT market.

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