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.

Retailers See Winds Filling Holiday Sales by Spencer Jakab of The Wall Street Journal.

Key excerpt:

“If forecasts translate into actual dollars spent, 2014 would see the biggest rise in holiday sales in three years. The confidence in the American consumer is backed up by the labor market, now at its healthiest level of the recovery by many measures. September’s nonfarm payrolls growth brought the six-month average to over 245,000 jobs, the best since April 2006. And last Thursday’s weekly jobless claims data showed the four-week moving average at its lowest since February 2006.”

 

Report Sees CRE Rebound, Continued Upside for Apartments by Les Shaver of Multifamily Executive.

Key excerpt:

“The multifamily sector has enjoyed this advantage for a few years now. With cap rates now down to three or four percent in core markets, investors are pushing to secondary and tertiary markets in search of yield. ‘But even those markets are appreciating, with average cap rates for high-quality apartments reaching below seven percent,’ Marcus & Millichap says in the report.”

 

U.S. Housing Markets to Impact Mid-Term Elections by Michael Gerrity of World Property Journal.

Key excerpt:

“‘The housing market recovery has truly taken hold in about half of the country, but the recovery is weak or experiencing a relapse in the other half,’ said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. ‘Whether because of good government policy, sheer luck or otherwise, the majority of county housing markets in six of the eight states with close U.S. Senate races are better off than they were two years ago. This should favor the incumbent, or the incumbent's party, all else being equal — which of course we know it is not. The only exceptions were Iowa and Alaska, where the majority of county housing markets were classified as toss-ups compared with two years ago.’”

 

Private Market Multifamily Financing Activity Steps up in First Half by Mark Heschmeyer of CoStar.

Key excerpt:

“There was a significant increase in the dollar volume of these transactions in the first half of 2014: $6 billion compared to $1.3 billion for the first half of 2013. Of these private-label CMBS deals, approximately $5.1 billion were classified as multifamily collateral and another $970 million were classified as manufactured housing.”

 

Investors Show Increasing Interest in Apartment Markets in Smaller Georgia Cities by Robert Stickel for National Real Estate Investor.

Key excerpt:

“However, it may come as a surprise to know that the apartment markets in smaller Georgia cities such as Athens, Augusta and Savannah are drawing a relatively high level of investor interest as well. Whether it’s the search for higher cap rates or for consistent, reliable returns, investors are targeting these secondary markets at unprecedented levels. Whereas some of these cities might once have seen up to five apartment investment sales in a given year, some are now seeing total annual sales that are double that amount. More recently, they are experiencing record per-unit sales prices as well.”