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KATY, TX-After a four-year hold, a local developer has sold a 276-unit multifamily property in the far west submarket. The Ashley House apartments have ended up in the hands of a Louisiana buyer through a selective marketing.

The 94%-leased Ashley House at 3903 S. Mason Rd. sold at a 6% cap rate, according to Apartment Realty Advisors. Comparable properties in the area have sold for $60,000 to $68,000 per unit.

Judwin Properties Inc. had planned to hold Ashley House for the long term until interest rates started to edge up. “We knew it was going to get a little harder for someone to pay a lower cap rate in that situation,” says David Wylie, principal with Apartment Realty Advisor’s Houston office.

Wylie, who brokered the transaction, tells GlobeSt.com that he approached just a few possible buyers, including MBS Cos. of Metairie, LA, which bought the 228-unit Merrywood Apartments around the corner at 22400 Westheimer Pkwy. in early 2006 for $19 million. “They’ve been an active and aggressive buyer and MBS targeted Ashley House as an asset they’d love to acquire,” Wylie says. “The sellers liked them too because they were good buyers who performed on time.”

Wylie adds that the complex traded in good condition, without any need for upgrades. “That submarket is performing well right now,” he says, “and this is a great asset for MBS.”

Ashley House Apartments is situated in the master-planned Cinco Rancho community. The mix has efficiencies and one-, two- and three-bedroom units, ranging from 528 sf to 1,321 sf. The monthly rent is $685 to $1,435.

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