Commercial Real Estate: Apartment investment market improves

Number, volume of transactions increases for larger complexesThe multifamily housing investment market has significantly improved from 2009 in terms of transactions closed and purchase prices.

For complexes with 10 or more units in Marin and Sonoma counties, there were 11 sales in the first nine months of this year totaling $86.4 million, compared with six sales amounting to $21.9 million in that period of 2009, according to Scott Gerber of NorCal Commercial, citing CoStar Group data.

The situation is a bit different for properties with four to 10 units in the two counties, according to Mr. Gerber. There were 23 sales from January through September 2009 totaling $16.8 million and 15 deals totaling $13.1 million in that timeframe this year.

Average prices per square foot increased to $173 in the first three quarters of this year from $146 in that period last year.

"Last year, there were more transactions that were distressed assets, which explains why the price per square foot was lower," he said.

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