Robin Williams<@SM>Dean Sigmon

ROCKVILLE, MD-There is talk on the street that Montgomery County is becoming a more significant player in the county’s affordable housing market after a period of relatively quiet activity. Two recent transactions suggest that such talk is indeed on the money.

One was Glenmont Crossing, a garden apartment and townhome style community in the Wheaton submarket, which was sold by a partnership between Buvermo Investments and Abbey Road Development. It traded for $27.9 million, or $140,201 per unit, to the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County through the Right of First Refusal process.

The other was Fireside Park, a garden-style community in the county, which was sold by Hampshire Properties for $36 million, or $152,542 per unit, to Rockville Housing Enterprises, again, through the Right of First Refusal.

Transwestern’s Mid-Atlantic Multifamily Group, headed by co-directors Dean Sigmon and Robin Williams brokered both of those transactions. Those, plus a third, came to close to $100 million in sales for the month of December for the group.

The third property was Timbercroft Townhomes in Baltimore County. It was sold by Home Properties for $29.15 million, or $102,641 per unit, to the Wishcamper Cos. and RMDG, Inc.

The group currently has about $500 million in its pipeline – that is, either under contract or in the negotiation stage, Sigmon and Williams tell 2013, in general, they say, is looking to be a robust year. “Investment demand, we think, will remain very strong with significant interest as we saw in 2012 for core and core plus opportunities,” Williams says. At the same time, Sigmon adds, investors are becoming more and more interested in the opportunities offered by multifamily value add.

One driver for this growth is DC’s still relatively strong job market. Projections call for 42,000 jobs to be created in the region this year, many of which are likely to be filled by apartment dwellers. It may be why Montgomery County is stepping up its role of active purchaser of affordable housing, Williams suggests. “Workforce housing is a particular interest of theirs,” he says.