MANCHESTER — Two apartment complexes recently sold for a combined $88.5 million — a city record for per-unit cost.
The market for multifamily housing in Manchester is “the strongest it has ever been, thanks to the job growth in the tech sector,” CBRE Capital Markets said in an email Monday.
The sale included Hilltop Ridge and The Highlands at Washington Park on nearly 41 acres off Front Street, according to CBRE, the commercial real estate services and investment firm that represented the sellers.
“It’s a hot market,” said Robert Gagne, chairman of the city’s board of assessors.
He said the per-unit price averaged $138,300. A 2015 sale of Waterford Place, located west of Hackett Hill Road, sold for $53 million, with its 384 units averaging $138,000.
“I would say this recent sale is a new record,” Gagne said.
In comparison, “the Waterford Place project is much nicer, newer, bigger units,” Gagne said.
The city assessed the two apartment properties at nearly $53.4 million combined, he said.
The assessment, he said, represented 60 percent of the sales price, compared to other multifamily developments that have sold with assessments representing more than 70 percent of the sale price.
CBRE said the buyer, an affiliate of The DSF Group, planned to operate the two communities as one in order to produce cost savings. Both properties have multiple Country Club Drive addresses.
“The unique aspect of this sale that likely attracted the buyer’s attention was the ability to aggregate two projects in 640 units and the fact that they were in very good shape,” said Thomas Farrelly, executive director of the New England region at Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial real estate firm not involved in the sale.
“Multifamily continues to be a hot preferred asset class,” he said.
DSF plans major clubhouse renovations and improvements in other common areas, according to CBRE, which listed the sellers as Hilltop Apartments LLC and WPN Property LLC.
CBRE said the former owners renovated nearly 90 percent of the apartments with upgraded kitchens and bathrooms as well as upgrades to the exterior.
Gagne said city records indicated 40 units were condos, but CBRE said those 40 units have been owned and operated by the same family as apartments since they were built in the 1980s.
The DSF Group, with offices in Boston and Washington, has invested more than $2.6 billion in real estate since 2000, according to the deal’s announcement.
The previous owners were “a tremendous steward of the asset, having invested significant capital into the properties over the past five years,” CBRE’s Biria St. John said in a statement. “With the growth in the region’s employment market in recent years and the continued growth expected in the future, DSF should realize strong revenue growth, particularly when combined with the additional planned improvements.”