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HOUSTON-Houston-based multifamily developer Flagship Properties Corp. has flooded the market with 16 apartment communities, totaling 5,359 units. Insiders say the package is valued at $170 million.

The “to go” list doesn’t even add up to half of the seller’s multifamily holdings. The properties are being offered individually, but can be had as a whole, says Bill Miller, a director in the Houston office for Dallas-based Holliday Fenoglio Fowler.

Houston is in the enviable position of being one of the most sought-after multifamily markets in the nation. Miller likens the scenario to desirable markets such as Southern California, Southern Florida and parts of the Mid-Atlantic, specifically Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC.

Houston is not overbuilt, has positive job growth and boasts high occupancies at multifamily properties, says Miller. With regard to the Flagship dispostion, he points out that “the capital markets are seeking multifamily opportunities in strong markets. There is more capital than there are properties.” Flagship’s portfolio has an average occupancy of 95% while the average property age is 22 years.

Jim Savage, a senior managing director in Holliday’s Houston office, is working with Miller to find a buyer for the package. The portfolio includes one complex each in Dallas and Austin.

The Houston complexes range in size from 196 units to 489 units. Flagship is selling its largest block in the FM 1960 submarket, where 1,192 units are on the market. The city’s southwest has 828 units up for sale; Spring Branch, 436; Hobby Airport, 306; the south submarket, 292; Medical Center, 284; and Alief, 268.

“It’s a great time to be a seller in Houston, particularly if you can deliver all cash,” G. Craig LaFollette, an acknowledged multifamily expert for Houston and CB Richard Ellis executive, tells GlobeSt.com. He says there is “tremendous activity” with class B properties and some class C product. “Some sellers would like to come the market right now, but the impact of non-pre-payable conduit debt is trapping their equity,” LaFollette says of the market at large. And yes, there are ways to close such buys, but he points out, “they are very expensive.”

As for the Flagship properties, Miller stresses they can be purchased “through the assumption of favorable financing” or of course, all cash.

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