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Investors Selling $500M Of DTLA Multifamily Properties In Hot Rental Market

Park Fifth, on the left, as seen from Pershing Square Park across the street.

Three downtown LA apartment buildings totaling more than $500M in estimated value hit the market recently.

While central business districts across the country continue to struggle in the wake of the remote work movement, some investors want to divest their urban assets. But the nation's housing crunch means that multifamily properties have the opportunity to capitalize on a trend of rising rents nationwide, particularly in large cities like Los Angeles. 

Apartment usage rebounded in a big way earlier this year, with the vacancy rate for multifamily units in some of the city's busiest neighborhoods falling below 2%. Rents are up across southern California, with the average price of a two-bedroom apartment in LA increasing 13% over the year through February.

MacFarlane Partners listed the 347-unit Park Fifth and the 313-unit Trademarkaccording to Green Street. Both properties sit on the block bounded by Hill, Olive, Fifth and Fourth streets.

High Street Residential, a subsidiary of Trammell Crow, is selling LA Plaza Village at Cesar Chavez Avenue between Broadway and Hill Street.

Park Fifth is valued at about $200M, or $576K per unit. The 24-story property's one-, two- and three-bedroom units are 92% occupied, according to Green Street. Available one-bedrooms are listed online starting at $3,400. The average annual tenant income is $274K, Green Street wrote.  

Neighboring Trademark is valued at $160M, or $511K per unit. The seven-story property's units range from one to three bedrooms, and one-bedrooms are advertised starting at about $2,700 a month. The average tenant at Trademark makes $174K per year. 

MacFarlane Partners is one of the main developers on the Angels Landing project at Fourth and Main streets, less than a block away. 

LA Plaza Village is expected to sell for about $160M, or about $450K per unit. Apartments at the 355-unit complex range from studios to three-bedroom units, and 71 of them are available to households making 60% to 80% of the area median income. Rents for available market-rate studios start around $2,100.

All three complexes opened in 2019. Eastdil Secured has the listings for all three properties, Green Street reported. A representative for Eastdil Secured didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The sky-high cost of buying a home has been a boon to apartment owners, as would-be homebuyers keep renting for longer, which has translated into a hot multifamily market. The investor demand for multifamily of all ages has pushed some multifamily buyers to look at newer buildings instead of value-add deals because of their lower maintenance costs and risks. 

UPDATE, JULY 22, 1:28 P.M. ET: This story was updated to clarify comments about demand in the multifamily market.