Tight ABQ rental market leads investors to older apartment buildings

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The Continental Arms, seen here, is part of a package purchase by an Albuquerque investor, who plans to modernize and renovate the properties. (COURTESY OF COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL)

With rental vacancies dipping below 5 percent in the metro area, a local investor recently snapped up two older apartment complexes in Albuquerque’s tightening multi-family market.

The Continental Arms and Laurels at Uptown were purchased together as a portfolio, according to Kentner Continental Arms Property LLC, the seller.

The sales price was not disclosed.

The deal included the 83-unit Continental Arms, located at 1200 Madeira SE near San Mateo and Gibson and built in 1964 and the 59-unit Laurels at Uptown, located at 1311 Louisiana NE and built in 1974.

The new owner plans to renovate both properties, said Cynthia Meister, associate broker with Colliers International in Albuquerque.

“These older properties present great opportunity for rejuvenation in outstanding locations,” said Meister.  “This sale marks part of a nationwide trend of investors modernizing well-located mid-century properties to create very popular infill rental communities.”

The new landlord, identified as Continental Apartments LLC, already owns several multifamily properties in Albuquerque.

Meister said both apartment properties have occupancy rates of 90 to 93 percent.

With fewer single-family homes available for sale, the city’s vacancy rate for well-located and maintained apartment properties has tightened, said Meister. The apartment occupancy rate citywide is north of 95 percent — more for newly built communities with amenities and energy-efficient features.

Meister said her team is seeing an uptick in requests from longtime apartment building owners seeking valuations, which analyze the cash flow from rents with the costs of upkeep and improvements to attract tenants.

More Albuquerque apartment complexes in the 50-to-100 unit range could be making their way into the sales pipeline this year, Meister said.

 

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