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WEBSTER, TX-United Dominion Realty Trust of Richmond, VA has paid $42.5 million for Gables Bradford Place and Gables Bradford Pointe, a 732-unit pair situated on 26 acres in Webster, southeast of Houston.

Marvin R. Banks, senior vice president and CFO for Boca Raton, FL-based Gables Residential, tells GlobeSt.com that the 95%-occupied properties attracted a number of potential buyers before selling in an all-cash deal. Gables, which developed the properties in the late 1980s, netted $20 million from the sale.

In the past two years, Gables has sold more than 3,400 units for $225 million in Houston. Since the disposition began, “real property net operating income multiples have climbed to historic highs,” Chris Wheeler, Gables’ chairman and CEO, says in a press release. “Combined with property NOI growth in Houston during the last three years, our dispositions have capitalized on an arbitrage between multiples and growth to generate out-sized gains.”

Gables’ strategy is to buy when the market’s headed north and start to sell as soon as it perceives a change, according to Banks. Two years ago, Houston was the REIT’s largest market; next year, it will fall to third place. Gables will continue to own Houston property, but in “established premium neighborhoods” like the Galleria, West Houston and First Colony. And for now, the REIT isn’t planning to let go of its Baybrook Village, also in Webster and part of the NASA/Clear Lake submarket.

The newly acquired assets consist of a mix of one, two- and three-bedroom units, with a rent range from $565 per month to $1,150 per month. The Gables properties, which have had the REIT’s name dropped from the marquee, are located at 15902 Highway 3. The complexes are situated a half mile from United Dominion’s Clear Lake Falls and Green Oaks developments.

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