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SAN ANTONIO-A Houston-based entity has ended its long-term hold on Whispering Creek Villas and has sold the 256-unit asset. Seasoned multifamily owner and investor Falkin Platnick Realty Group and partner Midway Investors LLC ended up with the 14-year-old property.

“The seller was an investor with the property developer, and felt he wanted to diversify from real estate to other investments,” comments Pat Jones, principal with Apartment Realty Advisors in Austin, TX, who negotiated the sale with ARA associate Casey Fry on behalf of WCV Apartments Ltd. The sales price for the asset at 5303 Hamilton Wolfe Rd. was unavailable, though the Bexar Appraisal District values it at $16.7 million. The New Jersey buyer financed the transaction with a conventional Freddie Mac loan.

Built in 1995, Whispering Creek Villas has 15 buildings with one- and two-bedroom units. Unit sizes range from 603 square feet to 1,147 square feet, with rents between $770 and $1,035 a month. The complex is 93% occupied.

Jones tells GlobeSt.com that Whispering Creek Villas attracted about 14 offers during the marketing period, all coming from quality buyers. “The quality of buyers is excellent these days,” he notes, adding that many of those buyers are private, rather than institutional. “Amateur hour is over. We’re now dealing with experienced, knowledgeable, well-capitalized real estate investors.”

The problem for these buyers, he continues, is there isn’t a whole lot of product to show. Sellers who are in decent shape aren’t in any hurry to sell their assets. Rather, they’re waiting to see if the market recovers any time soon.

Jones explains other reasons for the lack of apartment complexes up for sale. Conventional wisdom indicates that San Antonio and Austin, TX to the north will come out of the recession quickly. Furthermore, due to the difficulty in obtaining construction financing, very little product remains in the pipeline.

“From 2011 going forward, the market will tighten up as the excess supply goes away,” Jones says. “We’ll be going from 7,000 units in the pipeline today to less than 1,000 in 2011.”

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