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  • Posted February 10, 2016

Apartment Sales Up 31%; CBRE Stays on Top

Real estate investors continued to flock to the multi-family sector last year, as sales soared 31% to another record.

Some $87.3 billion of large apartment properties changed hands in 2015, far above the previous high of $66.7 billion set the year before, according to Real Estate Alert’s Deal Database, which tracks deals of $25 million and up. While other property types saw trading slow in the second half, multi-family deals continued full-throttle. There were $38.3 billion of first-half transactions — and another $49 billion in the last six months.

Buyers from around the world have been drawn to U.S. rental properties as it’s become accepted wisdom that American home-ownership rates will persist at his­torically low levels. Anxiety about interest rates, volatile stock markets, falling oil prices and other macroeconomic issues have given investors in other asset classes pause. Not so for apartments.

“Multi-family is about as close to an intrinsically hedged asset as you can get,”

said Jason Pantzer of New York’s Pantzer Properties, which specializes in East Coast apartment investments. “In a good market you can drive rents, with asset values shoot­ing up, and everyone benefits. In a dicey market, where everyone has concerns, the last thing tenants are going to do is move out of their apartment and come up with a down payment to buy a home. The last thing developers are going to do is get new financing to build.”

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