PETALUMA -- The 492-unit Lakeville Resort apartment complex on Lakeview Circle sold for $52 million, making it the largest such sale in Sonoma County this year.

Abacus Capital Group purchased the 461,798-square-foot property on Lakeview Circle from Equity Residential for $105,691 per unit, according to Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, which brokered both sides of the transaction.

Market-rate apartment property pricing has fallen significantly from the peak a few years ago, according to Stanford Jones of Marcus & Millichap.

Average sales prices per unit were $138,000 last year, $207,000 in 2007 and $192,000 in 2006, according to Novato-based multifamily property market tracker RealFacts.

"Institutional sales activity increased in the second and third quarters of 2009, a trend we expect to continue moving into 2010," Mr. Jones said.