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. 

• Hot Office Trends for 2016 By Don Catalano of Reoptimizer.

Key excerpt:

"While the open office has been the office trend for the last couple of decades, space planners are waking up to its inherent complexity. Open spaces are great for collaboration and learning and work wonders at lowering occupancy cost by increasing density, but they carry some real drawbacks as well. 2016 will bring more open offices, but also more privacy and closedness in those offices. This will help to support higher employee productivity for focus-intensive tasks."


• Viewpoints: Interest Rate Hike by Marie Ruff of NAIOP.

Key excerpt:

"The impact of a one-off rate rise of 25 basis points is likely to be small. Most lenders are already underwriting loans at higher rates. By any historical measure, rates today, even if the Fed does raise them, are at very low levels. Longer term, the impact of a series of rate rises will likely moderate activity across most CRE sectors. Most projections show that any increase is likely to the first in a series of rate rises rather than a one-off increase. Failing some unforeseen situation, the Fed is likely to continue to raise rates in small steps through 2016 and into 2017."

 

• Tenant demand will outpace retail construction in 2016: Report by Shopping Centers Today.

Key excerpt:

"By the end of this current year, some 82 million square feet of retail space will have opened across the U.S. for 2015, yet the national vacancy rate stands at just 5.8 percent. An additional 83 million square feet is still under construction, JLL says. Stand-alone retail buildings, small neighborhood centers, and grocery-anchored and power centers make up 76 percent of new construction."

 

• “New Urbanism” Bringing Balanced Development to Downtowns by Steve Lubetkin of GlobeSt. 

Key excerpt:

"At the same time that traditional urban core cities are working hard to attract millennial-friendly developments, suburban municipalities are also reimagining their own development plans to achieve this traditionally urban balance, [Eugene] Diaz says. 'They are encouraging more housing options and amenities to make their downtowns and commercial corridors attractive for millennials and the businesses looking to hire them,' he says."

 

• What the Depletion of GSEs Could Mean for Multifamily by Jay Donaldson for Multi-Housing News. 

Key excerpt:

"The multifamily market boom continues full throttle into a new year of seemingly unbridled optimism. Investors remain bullish on the sector and financing options are robust. The fundamentals of the sector remain very strong, and so far, credit standards are being maintained. Demand for rental housing remains high as consumer preferences continue to shift in regards to homeownership; strict underwriting standards for single-family mortgages constrain availability of credit; and the health of economy continues to improve with job growth and declining unemployment."