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WASHINGTON, DC-The CB Richard Ellis Washington-Baltimore Multi-Housing team is on target to close $1.2 billion in local multifamily transactions by the end of April. At the beginning of this month it had closed a total of $303 million for 2007, Bill Roohan, vice chairman at CB Richard Ellis tells GlobeSt.com.

“These were largely partnership, private trade transactions,” he says, consisting of seven deals and a cumulative 1,997 units throughout Northern Virginia, Montgomery County, MD and Baltimore. The firm also has approximately $900 million under contract that should close in next 30 to 60 days, he adds.

Indeed multifamily transactions have been improving both in the area and nationally as investors flee condo conversion projects. Transwestern’s Institutional Multifamily Group, for instance, has closed more than $1.3 billion of deals in the area over the last month and has an additional $180 million under contract, as reported by GlobeSt.com.

Roohan attributes the DC region’s economic and job growth as a factor behind the surging multifamily trades. These two forces translate into year-over-year rent growth for owners.

At the same time there is a growing number of new-to-market investors here, which is fueling activity. At the end of December, CB Richard Ellis closed the sale of part of Town and Country Trust’s portfolio. The Morgan Stanley Real Estate-Onex Real Estate- Sawyer Realty Holdings LLC joint venture acquired the assets last year then put several buildings on the block, including those in the Maryland area. Of those assets the vast majority was acquired from out of town investors new to this market, Roohan says.

Besides Roohan, senior members in the multifamily group include EVP Andrew Boyer, EVP Michael Muldowney and managing director Maury Zanoff.

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