Multifamily Sales Comps: A Look at the Bay Area’s Busy Fourth Quarter

Cushman & Wakefield, Graceada Partners, Greystar, Ivanhoe Cambridge, Rodak Properties, Equity Residential
Courtesy of Chris Lawton

By Meghan Hall

It is no secret that investors are looking to capitalize on gains in multifamily, as the sector has proven to be one of the most resilient post-pandemic. A number of comps obtained by The Registry, compiled since September of 2021 sheds a light on market activity in seven different markets in the Bay Area. The comps, produced by brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield,  show a big difference in activity between big cities and the suburbs–a divide that has been further exacerbated by the recent pandemic.  

San Francisco (DOWNLOAD REPORT)

San Francisco multifamily comps in recent months were practically nonexistent, with just one sale recording in September of 2021. According to Cushman & Wakefield, the sale of 1649-1655 Market St. for $16.8 million, was the sole multifamily transaction of the year. The Class B property traded for $233,333 per unit. The property was purchased by Veritas Investments from NDA Properties LLC and Brady Street LLC.

The Peninsula: San Mateo County (DOWNLOAD REPORT)

The San Francisco Peninsula also had little momentum heading into the end of the year. Two Class A sales were recorded in May of 2021, and no new Class B transactions were reported. Only a single Class C deal–the $62.9 million sale of the Villages at Pacific–was finalized. The deal closed in January of 2021.

South Bay: Santa Clara County (DOWNLOAD REPORT)

The Bay Area’s South Bay included a few more deals, year-over-year, but sales were sporadic. Just one Class A property sold the entire year–One38 in San Jose for $53 million, or $529,207 per unit–and no new deals were solidified since October of 2021. Two Class B properties were recapitalized: Avana Almaden in San Jose for $208.54 million, and Avana Sunnyvale for $128.66 million. In both cases, the buyer was Ivanhoe Cambridge Residential and the seller was Greystar.

Just a single Class C property traded at year’s end, as well. The Alhambra Garden Apartments at 2729 Chormite Drive in Santa Clara sold for $29 million, or about $467,742 per unit. Rodak Properties sold the community to Appian Lane Associates. 

East Bay: Alameda & Contra Costa Counties (DOWNLOAD REPORT)

The last half of the year was an active one for Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, which recorded more than $2.6 billion worth of sales since March of 2021. In all, 5,782 units traded hands. Most of these deals struck over the past year were for Class B properties; 3,345 Class B units traded for a total volume of $1.65 billion. 1,794 Class C units–totaling $578.2 million in value–and 643 Class A units, representing $383.5 million in volume, also traded hands.

While Class A assets garnered a pretty penny, it was often Class B properties that ranked highest in overall sales price and price per unit. In a $304 million transaction, the Wood Creek Apartments in Pleasant Hill, Calif., sold to Opportunity Housing Group. The seller was Equity Residential. The complex, built in 1987 totals 484 apartments and sold for $628,099 per unit. 

The only Class B property to top Wood Creek’s per unit sales price was Hillside Village, at 1901 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley. The community, which sold in January of this year, traded for $66.676 million, or $709,309 per unit. Clarion Partners sold the asset to Greystar.

The end of the year was slower for Class A assets, which saw the sale of Blake at Berkeley for $66 million, or about $785,714 per square foot, to Virtu Investments. Halcyon, at 1815 Alice St. in Oakland, traded in November of 2021 to Vaughn Management for $41 million, or $554,054 per unit.

Class C properties also attracted major investment. Lexington Associates sold AMber Court, at 34050 Westchester Terrace in Fremont to Acacia Capital for $75 million, or about $446,429 per unit. In another end-of-year deal, The Brook on Center, at 22282 Center Street, sold for $41 million, or $379,630 per unit. New Standard Equities acquired the property from E.A. Maas & Suzanne C. Maas Rev. Living Trust. 

North Bay: Marin, Napa, Solano & Sonoma Counties (DOWNLOAD REPORT)

The North Bay submarket was more muted than its suburban East Bay counterpart towards the end of the year. Sales volume totaled $959.8 million and spanned 2,503 units. Again, Class B units made up the bulk of the deals, with 1,816 apartments trading. Just 180 and 507 Class A and Class C units sold, respectively. 

Just one Class A property traded hands: Bell Mt. Tam at 199 Tamal Vista Blvd. in Corte Madera. The 180-unit community was sold by MacFarlane Partners to Bell Partners Inc. in a $156 million deal. The property traded for $866,667 per unit.

Between November and December, a handful of Class B properties also sold, the largest of which was Park Crossing in Fairfield. Located at 2100 West Texas St., the 199-unit community sold for $83.5 million, or $419,598 per unit. Opportunity Housing Group acquired the property from Sares Regis. Bridge Investment also purchased The Meritage in Vallejo, for $45.5 million, or about $291,667 per unit, while ANI Investment Holdings purchased The Vines on 80 in Fairfield for $21.5 million, or about $341,270 per unit.

Class C deals to close include Delta Court, which sold in January of this year for $37.35 million, or $213,429 per square foot, to Positive Investments. In another deal, which closed  in December, Marin’s Ignasio Gardens sold for $26.536 million, or about $276,421 per unit. The deal was a bankruptcy sale in which Professional Financial Advisors Inc. traded the property to Hamilton Zanze and Graham Street Realty.

Sacramento: El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo Counties (DOWNLOAD REPORT)

COVID-19 has pushed renters to the suburbs, and investor demand in markets such as Sacramento and Central California continue to increase. The area around Sacramento saw 5,503 units trade for a total sales volume of $1.154 billion over the course of the past year, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

Just one Class A apartment complex traded in December. Built in 2021, the Element 79 at Town Center Compex sold for $$85.6 million, or about $400,000 per unit. Oakmont Properties bought the community from A.G. Spanos Companies.  

Activity among Class B properties was also limited at the end of year. The Aspire, located at 2500 Fair Oaks Blvd., sold in January for $48 million, or $235,294 per unit. The buyer was Clear Capital LLC, while the seller was Ridge Capital Investors.

Class C assets proved to be the most popular, with eight properties trading between November of 2021 and January of this year. The largest deal to close was for Arcade Creek Manor, a senior housing complex at 6546 Auburn Blvd. 29th Street Capital purchased the property for $54 million, or $184,932 per unit. In a $46 million acquisition, Trion Properties acquired Skylark Place in Carmichael, Calif. The community was sold by Fowler Property Acquisitions. Tesseract Capital Group also paid  $38 million for the Westlake Apartments at 1 Shoal Court, and $16 million for the Meadowbrook Apartments. The communities were sold by Graceada Partners and Dick James and Associates, respectively. 

Central California (DOWNLOAD REPORT)

Cushman and Wakefield’s Central California report covered more ground, but still highlighted a variety of different deals. Over the past year, sales volume in Central California totaled $488.94 million and 2,012 units.

The largest recent deal to close was finalized in December of 2021, in which Santa Cruz’s The Hilltop sold for $117.75 million, or $700,893 per unit. Throckmorton Partners & Goldman Sachs sold the asset to Regency Hilltop LLC.

Also in December, two Class B properties traded: Stoneybrook at 3104 Sherwood Ave. was acquired by Graceada Partners for $33 million, or $198,795 per unit, while Riverwoods in Madera. Calif., traded for $19 million or $174,312 per unit. Several Class C and fully affordable complexes sold throughout the year, but none after September of 2021.

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