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.

Freddie Mac Releases Annual Multifamily Outlook by Lindsay Machak of Multifamily Executive.

Key excerpts:

“While multifamily growth will continue rolling forward, 2014 may tap the brakes a bit.

Freddie Mac released its 2014 Multifamily Economic Outlook on Friday, noting that rent growth and vacancy will remain positive but should slow down compared to 2013.

The report states the overall health of the economy should stimulate job growth, bringing more young adults into the labor force and causing more demand for rentals.”

 

Benchmarking Is Only a Starting Point by Fran Ferrone for National Real Estate Investor.

Key excerpts:

“Selecting and designing space means striking a balance between using space efficiently and creating engaging workplaces that attract top talent. Recent interest in the technology sector has been prompted by its seeming ability to accomplish both objectives. When we look at how and why the technology firms do what they do, we see that culture is a large part of what’s driving and informing their decisions about space.”

 

High Turnover in Office Ownership Confirms Growing Strength of Secondary Markets by Mark Heschmeyer of CoStar Group.

Key excerpts:

“Looking at office inventory turnover trends across the top 54 U.S. office markets, five Southern and Western markets saw more 10 percent or more of their total office market inventory change hands last year: Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Atlanta, Houston and Denver. Austin was especially popular with office investors as 13 percent of its office space was acquired by new owners in 2013.”

 

Outlook: How Will the Affordable Care Act Affect Real Estate? by Ron Nyren of Urban Land Magazine.

Key excerpts:

“Some of the changes that we are talking about in reaction to the Affordable Care Act really started several years ago as we began seeing increases in mergers and consolidations across the country, for large systems as well as individual hospitals. Moody’s has now issued a report saying not only that merger activity is expected to continue, but also that ‘virtual mergers’ are on the rise. In this type of consolidation, the hospitals come together in nearly all ways except in the area of debt, where it’s too expensive or too difficult to consolidate. All these behaviors will most likely continue, resulting in fewer, larger systems that can achieve the operational efficiency that will be necessary if reimbursements continue to drop.”

 

What Retailers Don't Know by Jeremy Striffler for Shopping Center Business.

Key excerpts:

“In the career of every retail real estate owner, asset manager, developer and leasing agent, the most difficult question to answer is: What do retailers want? Some think they know and give the retailers ubiquitous data, like demographic reports and traffic counts, which the retailers already have. Others guess and give the retailers lots of aerial maps and photos in hopes of swaying the retailer to select their site. But at the end of the day what retailers really want is what they don't know.”