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Market Watch: Low Interest Rates, Low Supply Make Apartments the Hot Property

June 07, 2012

1st Quarter 2012 Recap / Multi-family Sales

South county apartment sales were modest in the 1st Quarter of 2012 with three transactions of 10+ units in the city of Santa Barbara alone. The largest was the sale of 29 units at 320-322 W. Canon Perdido in which Radius represented the buyer.

Despite the small number of sales, we may be seeing a turn in the market as there were no sales of 10+ unit complexes during the 1st Quarter of 2011 and only six for the entire year in all of the south county.

Additionally, there are currently six 10+ unit complexes for sale in Santa Barbara and Goleta with three of those in escrow. Only two of those are of significant size with one being 60 units and the other 63, both in Goleta.

Despite minimal availability of these larger complexes, buyers appear eager for well-located properties above 25 units in size and priced within comparable ranges of those that have previously sold.

Regarding smaller properties within the 5-9 unit range, there were just three sales during the 1st Quarter, all in Santa Barbara. There are currently nine properties for sale in Santa Barbara and Goleta with one in escrow.

The bottom line is right now historically low interest rates and heavy competition among financiers are working in investors’ favor, making this a good opportunity to scoop up apartment properties versus other commercial real estate.

The Santa Barbara and Goleta appeal remains as a blue-chip investment. Prices have stabilized and have seen appreciation in the beginning of the year as the demand for rentals seems to continue to be raising rents.

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