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SEATTLE, WA-David Petersen, a broker with local Paragon Real Estate Advisors Inc., tells GlobeSt.com the market here for apartment complexes under 100 units is still running strong. Since the first of the year, Paragon–which serves clients throughout the Puget Sound region–has closed 40 transactions involving a total of 754 units, the value of which exceeds $58 million.

“We specialize in more private, individual transactions for properties under 100 units,” says Petersen adding, “Right now (that market) is pretty tight. Some people thought it would slow down, but there’s a limited supply of inventory, and that’s causing prices to remain healthy. In the private-to-private market it’s still pretty much a seller’s market.”

Petersen contrasts sales of the smaller properties with larger complexes. “Looking at the 100-plus market, it’s softened up some. Mostly the buyers are institutional, and some of them have been tightening their belts a bit.”

While Paragon brokers multifamily properties throughout Puget Sound (more than $1 billion since its inception), Petersen says the majority of this year’s transactions have been Seattle in-city. Checking recent sales of such properties, Petersen says square-foot prices have been falling within the range of $150 to $200, depending upon location and quality. As to square foot prices, Petersen says this year’s compare favorably, if not slightly higher, than last.

Paragon’s latest sale was the 14-unit Pacific Place Apartments at 4235-39 27th Ave. W in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood. The small complex exchanged hands between local individuals for $1.25 million, or $154 per rentable sf for the two-building complex with 8,100 rentable sf. The cap rate is listed as 6.93%, and a GRM of 10.27.

Terms for the 1962 property were cash under a tax-deferred exchange for the buyer. Petersen says 1031 exchanges are accounting for the lion’s share of Paragon’s market. “Buyers have built up equity in their (existing) smaller properties and are moving up in size,” he explainsAs for Petersen’s near-term predictions for the under-100-unit market, he says, ” I think it’s going to do well unless we start seeing a lot more inventory.”

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