Post Biltmore

ATLANTA—The Southeast’s multifamily sector is poised to see the highest level of sales transactions since 2005. So says a new report from Jones Lang LaSalle‘s Southeast Multifamily group.

Vacancy rates are at their lowest point since early 2008 and rents have experienced consistent gains each quarter since 2010. For its part, JLL’s Southeast Multifamily group closed nearly $1.2 billion in sales during 2012 on 38 single asset transactions and seven equity raises spanning 16,000 units in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and the Carolinas.

“Robust rental demand and the significant decline in homeownership kept multifamily demand brisk in 2012,” JLL managing director Derrick Bloom tells GlobeSt.com. “Last year’s national multifamily sales well surpassed 2011 levels, with velocity only 10 percent below 2005, and the Southeast is echoing this growth.”

In particular, JLL pointed to bright expectations in Atlanta through 2016 as the metro’s low cost of doing business continues to attract firms. With new firms entering the market, population growth and job growth should follow. JLL managing director David Gutting tells GlobeSt.com, “While economic growth is anticipated to continue at a slow and steady pace over the next 12 months, the economic picture is expected to brighten considerably.”

JLL’s top three Southeast Multifamily deals completed in 2012 included: Lehman Portfolio in Nashville for $130.65 million; Post Biltmore in Atlanta; and Eleven North in Nashville for $58,750,000. Brady Titcomb, Capital Markets Research Manager at Jones Lang LaSalle, tells GlobeSt.com, “The apartment sector will continue to benefit from strengthening trade, construction and service sector growth as well as population growth from key renter segments, specifically the millennial and empty nester cohorts.”