2020 bestsellers include $ 360 million in Wilmington apartment deals

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Eleven of the 12 most expensive real estate sales in New Hanover County in 2020 were apartment transactions, according to county tax records.

Wilmington’s apartment community transactions totaled nearly $ 360 million.

The only apartment-less transaction in the top dozen (arriving at # 8) was the $ 21.7 million paid by Publix Super Markets for the Publix anchored center in Carolina Beach, which also included 2.4 undeveloped acres. The vendor was an entity of GHK Cape Fear.

The most expensive overall sale of the year, according to records, was the $ 54 million purchase of Belle Meade, a 324-unit resort located at 1109 Matteo Drive near Carolina Beach Road.

Capstone Apartment Partners sold the property on behalf of the previous owner, Wilmington-based McAdams Homes, and recruited the buyer, Southwood Realty, based in Gastonia.

“Despite the impact of COVID-19 and a wave of multi-family development activity nearby, Belle Meade has performed extremely well, as has Wilmington [garden-style apartment] market in general over the past year, ”said Caleb Troop, who led the Capstone Apartment Partners transaction team, in January.

Local brokers were not surprised by the apartment sales activity.

“We have seen a huge increase over the past three to five years in institutional capital interested in Wilmington,” said Brian Eckel, partner of GHK Cape Fear and co-founder of Wilmington-based commercial real estate company Cape Fear Commercial, in an email Thursday. . “There’s a lot of capital out there right now nationwide looking for stabilized multi-family products.

“With interest rates so low and Wilmington continuing to be at the top of the charts for inbound movements, we have seen our cap rates at an all-time low, which has led to an increase in trading volume.”

On a related note, Mark Johnson, Executive Vice President / Sales Director of Coldwell Banker Commercial Sun Coast Partners, said in an email: “I think the interest is coming from our region showing a substantial and consistent growth, and our cap rates are well above the larger markets, which means better returns for potential investors. “

He added: “The world has been waking up in the Southeast for some time now, and it continues to accelerate – especially since we have all faced the pandemic. We’ve seen trophy properties trade more than once before, like One Midtown. It set a local record for the highest price per door in 2016, then eclipsed the previous number in early 2020 when it sold for almost $ 7.6 million more in just four years. “

The $ 45.5 million sale of One Midtown Apartment Homes in 2020, in which Johnson was not involved, ranked 3rd of the top 12.

Johnson said: “Investors are definitely seeing an upside in our market and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future.”

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