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

Commercial Construction Is Back On the Drafting Board by Randyl Drummer of CoStar.

Key excerpt:

“The billings index, viewed as a leading indicator of commercial real estate development activity, reached 55.8 in July, up sharply from 53.5 in June. Design services demand has advanced steadily over the last three months, according to the AIA. The new projects inquiry sub-index was a very strong 66, down slightly from 66.4 in June.”

 

Independent Mortgage Bankers in U.S. Turn Profitable in Q2, Make $954 Per Loan by Michael Gerrity of World Property Channel.

Key excerpt:

“According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report, independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks reported a net gain of $954 on each loan they originated in the second quarter of 2014, up from a reported loss of $194 per loan in the first quarter of 2014.”

 

Commercial Real Estate Price Pressure Beginning to Emerge in Some Sectors, Report Finds by Sarah Borchersen-Keto of REIT.com.

Key excerpt:

“Increased demand, particularly for high-quality assets, is being fueled by the perception of real estate as a safe haven in the current uncertain investment environment, according to RERC.

RERC’s investment survey of large institutional and regional investors showed that certain property types, particularly apartment and retail properties, were seen to be fully priced or even overpriced in some areas.”

 

Live–Work Spaces Present New Opportunity for Owners, Operators by Amy Zuckerman of Multifamily Executive.

Key excerpt:

“All of these examples reflect the evolution of the apartment complex from being solely a place to hang one’s hat at night to a venue where professionals are increasingly incorporating their work into their living space. Whether they’re small-business owners, telecommuters, artists, traveling salespeople, or entrepreneurs seeking communal work spaces, this business-oriented population is having an impact on apartment developers, says Caitlin Walter, senior research analyst for the Washington, D.C.–based National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC).”

 

Hotel Occupancy on Track to Hit 20-Year High: PwC by Keith Loria of Commercial Property Executive.

Key excerpt:

“For the rest of 2014, PwC expects lodging demand to increase 4.0 percent, which, combined with still-restrained supply growth of 1.0 percent, is anticipated to boost occupancy levels to 64.1 percent.

Occupancy levels in the lower-priced chain scale segments are expected to approach or exceed prior peak levels, as price-driven compression from higher-priced hotels drives demand to lower-priced hotels.”