Oct 6, 2022 - Real Estate

Investment firms net 2 Arkansas properties in $500 million apartment deal

Illustration of a hand about to pick up the last house surrounded by leftover imprints of other long gone houses. 

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A trio of investment firms led by Dallas-based RREAF Holdings have closed a $500 million deal to snap up 10 multifamily properties in seven states. Glen at Polo Park in Bentonville and River Pointe in Maumelle are part of the transaction.

The big picture: Investors see the promise of economic growth across the South as workers migrate for jobs, affordable housing, quality of life and warmer climes.

  • Inflation, increased demand and investors looking to maximize profits have kept rents climbing the past few years.

Zoom in: Only 2.3% of NWA's available rental properties were vacant as of June 30. Prices were up 18% between the beginning of 2021 and the middle of this year to an average of $860.

Between the lines: Fannie Mae predicted in July that rents would decrease slightly during the second half of the year, while noting that demand would remain strong.

  • The U.S. median rental price did dip in August for the first time since November 2021.
  • Yes, but: Rising mortgage rates could discourage homebuying and push more people into rentals, keeping prices high, Axios' Emily Peck writes.

Details: Other properties in RREAF's portfolio are in Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and North and South Carolina. In all, there are 2,744 units in the deal.

  • They're collectively 93% occupied and located in either capital cities or college towns.
  • The investment group, which includes DLP Capital and 3650 REIT, told Axios they intend to upgrade the properties — all built between 1998 and 2012.

What they're saying: "We’re expecting to get a return on that additional invested capital based on the location and the tenant profile at every complex, and make certain that it’s affordable for the clientele," RREAF CEO Kip Sowden told Axios.

  • "There has been a tremendous amount of rent growth ... because demand far exceeds supply and we really don’t see that supply catching up to that demand," Sowden added.

Flashback: The same group purchased 21 properties for $543 million last November, including one each in Russellville, Van Buren and Arkadelphia.

  • Nine of those properties were in Georgia.

What we're watching: It's estimated by the multifamily industry that the U.S. will need 4.3 million more apartments by 2035 to meet demand.

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