Dallas–Acting through Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I Inc., Behringer Harvard went on a shopping spree this week, snapping up not one, not two, but three luxury apartment properties in three separate transactions. The Dallas-based commercial real estate company acquired one asset after another for three days straight, enhancing its portfolio by 853 residential units.
Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT, which commenced its initial public offering in the 2008, focuses on the acquisition of core, value-added and development multifamily assets in transit-oriented locations, particularly in areas of major cities with high barriers to entry and anticipated high population growth.
To kick off its most recent buying frenzy, the REIT’s purchased Burnham Pointe, a 298-unit apartment building at 730 S. Clark Street in Chicago’s historic Printers Row neighborhood. Developed in 2008, the 28-story high-rise features 15,000 square feet of ground-level retail space, and a six-story parking facility.
Uptown Post Park in Houston marked Behringer Harvard’s second acquisition of the week. The 392-unit multifamily community carries the address of 1111 Post Oak Boulevard and occupies a 4.4-acre parcel juts eight miles outside of the city’s central business district. Uptown Post Oak, which consists of mid-rise structures, also offers a two-level parking garage.
Behringer Harvard concluded its week-long round of buying by acquiring Acappella Apartments in San Bruno, Calif., just 10 miles from downtown San Francisco. Located at 1001 National Avenue, the one-year-old, five-story property encompasses 163 residences and below-grade parking accommodations.
All three of the apartment properties, sited in upscale areas and within close proximity to rail transportation, feature one- and two-bedroom units, as well as such amenities as fitness facilities and business centers. Acquisition of the assets has increased the size of Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I’s portfolio to an aggregate 8,449 residences in 30 apartment communities spanning 12 states.
The national apartment market did not escape the ravages of the recession, but industry analysts confirm that it is now in recovery mode, and Behringer Harvard’s level of activity is indicative of the changing state of the market. “Demand for apartment residences has substantially increased thanks to modest improvements in the jobs market and the continuing decline in homeownership rates,” Mark Obrinsky, chief economist with the National Multi Housing Council, noted in a press release on the organization’s quarterly survey. “While the level of transactions remains subdued compared with the boom years of 2005-2007, activity is gradually growing from the low levels of late 2008-early 2009.” As per the survey, sales volume is up and debt and equity are more readily available. The sales volume index increased from 72 to a record-setting 78, the debt financing index made a gargantuan jump from 58 to 81 and the equity financing index rose from 71 to 73, another record score.