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PHOENIX-California investors, eager to take advantage of the Valley’s low property values and high cap rates, are grabbing up real estate in metropolitan Phoenix almost as quickly as it hits the market.

“I’ve had 30 people call from Los Angeles or the California area in the last 10 days looking for properties,” Ric Holway, with Marcus & Millichap’s Phoenix office tells GlobeSt.com. “On most good properties, there’s definitely a lot of activity.”

That competition worked well for Holway when seller Dave Ardell of Ardell Investments LLC of Santa Barbara, CA, put his 64-unit of Los Olivos apartment complex on the market. Within days of listing the nine-building complex at 7625 N. 19th Ave. in Phoenix, at least five investors, several from California, were scrambling to place bids.

But it was a local buyer, Mathew and Donna Orzol of Scottsdale, who won out with an offer of slightly more than $3.3 million in a deal that delivered nearly $2 million in profit for the seller. Ardell purchased the property in 1995 for $1.4 million.

Despite the influx of California money, Ardell selected the Orzols because, not only were they in a 1031 Exchange, but they also are local investors who would manage the property themselves, said Holway, the sole broker on the deal.

For the new owners, the deal offered a positive cash flow on an investment property that was 92% occupied. The garden-style complex, which fronts on 19th Avenue just south of Northern Avenue, is comprised of 16 three-bedroom and 48 two-bedroom units, all with two baths, along with a pool, spa, barbecue area, covered parking and interior amenities that include appliances, ceiling fans and walk-in closets.

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