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.

Five Predictions for 2014 by David J. Lynn for National Real Estate Investor.

Key excerpt:

“U.S. consumers are better positioned to increase spending. Having paid down (or defaulted on) nearly $1 trillion of household debt, U.S. consumers have aggressively improved their balance sheets. With further help from low interest rates, household debt-service burdens are at their lowest level in more than 30 years, according to Federal Reserve data. Household wealth relative to disposable income has surpassed its historical average, according to the Fed, thanks to a pronounced recovery in financial and housing markets. This has given consumers the confidence to spend more of their disposable income, which is growing in line with job creation.”

CRE Will Stay On Road to Recovery in 2014 by Rayna Katz of Globe St.

Key excerpt:

“‘Real optimism has emerged as a key theme in the real estate market for 2014 as trends are progressing significantly through the economic and real estate recovery cycles,’ says Mitch Roschelle, partner, U.S. real estate advisory practice leader, PwC. ‘The steady economic recovery and job creation has created ‘tailwinds’ that have propelled the commercial real estate market forward, and momentum of this recovery seems powerful enough to weather spikes in interest rates that may be inevitable.’”

Taper Caper: Where Interest Rates are Heading for Multifamily Borrowers by Brad Berton of Multifamily Executive.

Key excerpt:

“Even if the 10-year Treasury approaches 4 percent by year-end, multifamily borrowers would still operate in a good long-term rate environment, relates Susan Persin, a Trepp managing director in Oakland. ‘Rates have a long way to go from today’s levels to reach anything you could consider high by historic standards.’

Even more reassuring for many multifamily borrowers is the Fed’s stated intention to keep its short-term ‘overnight’ federal funds rate as low as it can indefinitely—or at least until the unemployment rate and other indicators are far more favorable than they are today.”

New Era of Office Towers Will Continue to Rise in 2014 by Randyl Drummer of CoStar.

Key excerpt:

“Office construction starts climbed 26% in November, maintaining a growing momentum seen during the second half of 2013, according to a report last week from McGraw Hill. However, much of the increase is contained in several massive new office projects that started in November, including the $336 million Transbay Tower in San Francisco, the $265 million State Farm office complex in Tempe, AZ, and $160 million for the office portion of the $700 million Korean Air Hotel project in Los Angeles.”

Signing More Leases Through Social Media by Sean Standberry for Student Housing Business.

Key excerpt:

“The key is creating a definitive strategy to build relationships with the end-user, the students. We see too many student housing properties on social media broadcasting messages versus holding conversations and building relationships. Picture social media as one big cocktail party. You don't want to be the loner in the corner talking to yourself and looking at your phone. In contrast, you want to be the fun relatable person everyone wants to get to know.”