CoStar News continued to cover the biggest stories in commercial real estate in 2013.
Our award-winning journalists and analysts provided timely reporting and insightful views on the trends and transactions that shaped our industry throughout the year, with a particular focus on the expanding U.S. economic recovery and its impact on sales and leasing volume, rising property values and changes sweeping through the brokerage business.
As we close out the year, we checked our records and here are the stories you, our readers, considered to be the most interesting and newsworthy over the past 12 months.
The news that attracted the most readers was one we published in March examining the impact of changing office trends on future demand.
A related report looked at how older office buildings will compete in the new workplace
. Both articles examined the longterm trends toward increased densification and more efficient use of space, greater integration with technology, and a shift among corporate space users toward more collaborative work spaces as well as the greater acceptance and even encouragement of remote access, all of which hold major implications for developers, investors and building owners.
Retail malls attracted outsized investor and reader interest in 2013, with Autrailia-based Westfield being among the most active sellers-and buyers-as it sold stakes in its US-owned properties to joint venture partners under a strategy to re- invest in a handful of faster-growing, high-yield markets. The firm sold minority stakes in six of its Florida malls
to O'Connor Capital Partners and another seven U.S. shopping centers to an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group for$1.64 billion
shortly before acquiring the remaining 50% interest in the World Trade Center retail premises for $800 million
. Those followed Westfield's sale of eight shopping centers for $1.15 billion, while entering into joint ventures covering an additional 12 assets with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in 2012.
Our story on the most active net buyers among REITs ( 25 REITs Most Likely To Buy Your Property in 2013
) attracted many readers, as all types of investors, both public and private, kept up a torrid pace of acquisitions that extended into more secondary and tertiary markets.
CoStar Senior News Editor Mark Heschmeyer also reported on commercial real estate's growing acceptance and use of social media,
, which would appear to be a natural fit for an industry focused on property marketing and networking.
Warren Buffett made a big splash last January when his Berkadia Commercial Mortgage acquired Hendricks & Partners
, a national multifamily sales brokerage firm with 37 offices in the U.S. That same week, Jones Lang LaSalle expanded its multifamily brokerage operations in Texas by buying The Apartment Group, Ltd. in Dallas. Both acquisitions proved astute as sales of apartment properties sizzled throughout 2013. More recently, Buffett has been very active on the residential brokerage front, an affiliate of his Berkshire Hathaway investment firm backing a new brokerage network operated by HSF Affiliates LLC that has been rolling up Prudential real estate affiliates across the country.
Here are links to the rest of the most-read CoStar News stories for 2013: