SAN DIEGO-Apartment projects continue to be a good play for investors — sales were brisk through September as average monthly rents eclipsed the $1,000 mark countywide.

Apartment sales through the first nine months of the 2001 were up 9% from a year ago, mostly due to a strong first half of the year, according to Burnham Real Estate Services.

The Burnham report shows 278 apartment sales in the third quarter compared to 276 during a year ago. Some 4,027 total units were sold, however — down 29% from the 5,686 units sold during the same time last year. Year-to-date, 12,472 units have sold, down 10% from the 13,844units sold during the first nine months of 2000.

Large sales during the quarter included Marbrisas, a 500-unit complex on Regulo Place in Chula Vista, purchased by Essex Marbrisas Apartments for $62 million. The Sunridge Apartments, a 160-unit complex on Graves Avenue in Santee, was bought y Sunridge Apartments LP for $13.3million.

Brookside Canyon Apartments, a 103-unit project located on Apple Street in Oceanside, sold for $6.8 million to Brookside Canyon LLC.

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