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.

Renters Trading Size for Frills Fuel U.S. Apartment Boom by Prashant Gopal of Bloomberg.

Key excerpt:

“Young professionals are paying top-market rents to live in new upscale apartment towers sprouting in Nashville and other downtowns across the country. They’re sacrificing living space for a prime urban location and extras such as cooking classes, dog-wash stations and poolside Wi-Fi. Developers, in the biggest U.S. apartment-construction boom in almost a decade, are shrinking the size of units so they can command luxury rates without narrowing the pool of potential tenants.”

 

Office Space Configurations Impact Employee Productivity by Michael Gerrity of World Property Channel.

Key excerpt:

“According to the report, in the past companies would determine future space needs by examining their existing office configuration and determining what alterations were needed for future growth, with lower real estate costs being a primary metric for success. In contrast, today companies are looking to create a more thoughtful workplace strategy by collecting information to better understand their unique work environment, and implementing a balanced mix of spaces (both open and private workspaces) that aligns with how their employees actually work. Further, truly flexible work requires seamless remote access to company files and networks, necessitating the need for companies to provide mobile IT solutions.”

 

Harnessing Young Talent in Today’s Real Estate World by Jennifer McLean for Commercial Property Executive.

Key excerpt:

“Perhaps one of the most significant challenges facing the industry is the inability to attract and secure young talent on a long-term basis. This, of course, isn’t a recent trend. With the abundance of firmly established lifelong real estate veterans with 20, 30 or even 40 years of experience under their belt, fresh-out-of-school employees are often left with the proverbial scraps, forced to jump from opportunity to opportunity in hopes of grasping the next rung on the career ladder.”

 

REIT Returns Outpace Broader Market in Solid First Half Showing by Sarah Borchersen-Keto of REIT.com.

Key excerpt:

“REIT returns doubled up the broader market during the first half of 2014, helped by low interest rates and muted supply, according to industry observers.

As of July 7, the FTSE NAREIT All REITs Index has had a total return of 16 percent, compared with 8.1 percent for the S&P 500 Index.

‘The first half of the year has surprised us a little bit with how strong the REIT performance has been,’ said Todd Lukasik, Morningstar senior analyst.”

 

Rise of High-Rise Living: Developers are Fulfilling Demand for Urban Living by Trip Stephens for REBusinessOnline.com.

Key excerpt:

“Demographic shifts are also influencing tenure choice. People in the expanding 25-34 year age group want to live closer to work, be more socially engaged with their peers and prefer the freedom and flexibility of renting instead of owning. Many are also less inclined to own a car. A growing segment of these younger renters are also drawn to top-tier U.S. cities, which offer higher paying jobs, more attractive public spaces and cultural venues and 24-hour lifestyle environments.”