Architects were billing more in May
The American Institute of Architects said today that its billings index returned to positive territory in May after consecutive months of declines. The index for May was 52.6, up from 49.6 in April. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings, which typically are generated  nine to 12 months before the launch of construction spending. An index measuring inquiries about new projects reached 63 in May, up from 59 the previous month, according to a release. The billings index was led by readings from the South, 58, and Midwest, 51.   

Commercial real estate was stable during recession
When the U.S. housing market boomed and busted in the past decade, commercial real estate was comparatively placid, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. Prices were more stable, there was little overbuilding, and bankruptcies never soared. The question is why. A research paper attributes the stability of commercial real estate at least in part to the "civilizing influence" of real estate investment trusts, which are a bigger presence in the commercial market than they are in housing.

Chicago commercial loan delinquencies up a notch in first quarter
The delinquency rate for bank loans on commercial real estate in the Chicago area edged up to 4.7 percent in the first quarter from 4.5 percent in the fourth quarter, according to Trepp LLC, a New York-based research firm, Crain's ChicagoReal reported. A year ago, delinquencies were 5.9 percent a year earlier after peaking at 7.7 percent in 2011.