Greystar Betting Good Times Will Continue to Roll in Suburban Phoenix Apartment Market

Article originally posted on CoStar on December 3, 2018

The Vista Montana property in Gilbert, Arizona, is one of three Greystar communities just scooped up  in the Phoenix suburbs.

Apartment behemoth Greystar has added three more Phoenix fixer-uppers to its portfolio.

The Charleston, South Carolina-based owner and operator paid $149 million, or about $176,000 per unit, for an 845-apartment portfolio in the Phoenix suburbs, said market players. The three properties, located in Gilbert and Chandler, Arizona, are all garden-style properties, of 1980’s vintage. That makes them ripe for unit renovations that could help boost rents.

The buy nearly doubles the number of apartments Greystar owns in the Phoenix area. The company already manages 24,560 units in the market, and owned 970 apartments outright before this deal. Nationwide, Greystar owns and manages about 490,000 apartments, making them the largest apartment operator in the U.S.

Greystar acquired the Phoenix portfolio from local investment shop Acacia Capital, which had picked up the properties in separate deals during the early days of the economic recovery in 2011 and 2012.

Acacia Capital hired CBRE’s team of Sean Cunningham and Tyler Anderson to sell two of the properties: the 316-unit Chandler Court at 3800 W. Chandler Blvd., in Chandler, and the 341-unit Vista Montana at 3225 E. Baseline Road, in Gilbert.

Cushman & Wakefield’s team led by Jim Crews brokered the third deal, the 186-unit River Ranch property at 6152 W. Oakland St., also in Chandler.

Phoenix’s apartment market has been humming along for roughly the past six years. Steady employment and a flow of people moving to the area for its relatively cheap cost of living and steady employment growth has pulled vacancy to an all-time low of 5.9 percent, according to CoStar data. Even better for investors, overall rent growth in the market is 6.9 percent annually – more than twice the national average of 3 percent.

A construction boom is raising some concerns. But new units are being absorbed at a steady clip, and most are high-end, high-rent projects downtown. Today’s multifamily players see more value in older, suburban deals where rent growth and occupancy will likely stay high.

For more information on the transaction, please see CoStar Comp #4593841.