A Houston real estate giant has sold more than a dozen Las Vegas Valley apartment complexes, in what’s said to be the largest, local apartment deal in memory.
Camden Property Trust announced Tuesday that it sold 15 apartment complexes, a retail center and about 19.6 acres of undeveloped land for $630 million combined.
The company did not name the buyers. But people with knowledge of the deal said Vantage Lofts owners the Bascom Group and Oaktree Capital Management teamed up again to acquire the portfolio, which included 4,918 apartments.
It was Camden’s second Las Vegas-area portfolio sale in three years and apparently marks its exit from the valley. Amid a national apartment boom, the sell-off also comes as Las Vegas continues heating up with apartment development, mostly in the southwest valley and Henderson, and rising occupancy, rents and sales prices.
Camden said in a news release that it would discuss the sale during a quarterly earnings conference call on Friday. Andrew Neilly, with public relations firm Gallen Neilly, said Camden officials would not be able to give interviews about the deal until after the call.
Los Angeles-based Oaktree, which manages $97 billion in assets, declined to comment, said Alyssa Linn of PR firm Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Bascom, based in Irvine, Calif., confirmed that it partnered with Oaktree on the purchase.
Real estate broker Doug Schuster, an executive managing director with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, has been in town for 15 years and specializes in apartment complexes. He wasn’t involved in the sale but said it might be the most lucrative ever in Las Vegas.
There have been bulk deals in the $200 million range, but Schuster said he can’t think of any in the $300 million to $500 million range.
“I’ve never heard of anything like that,” he said of Camden’s sales price.
He also said it was a “highly sought-after portfolio,” as a buyer would get 15 apartment complexes in one swoop.
All told, Southern Nevada’s apartment market had a 4.9 percent vacancy rate in the fourth quarter last year, down from 5.4 percent during the same time in 2014, and average asking rents of $925 per month, up from $878, according to brokerage firm Colliers International.
Investors paid an average of $108,200 per unit for apartment complexes in the first quarter this year, up from $71,836 for all of 2015, Colliers found.
The new owners of Camden’s former properties are no strangers to Southern Nevada, or to each other.
Oaktree, for instance, teamed with Houston-based Hines Interests in 2012 to buy 32 office buildings in Summerlin, totaling 1.1 million square feet, for $119.5 million. The firm also partnered with Australian casino mogul James Packer and former Wynn Resorts executive Andrew Pascal to acquire the vacant, 34.6-acre former New Frontier site on the Strip in 2014. The group has laid out plans to develop a 3.4 million-square-foot, 1,100-room resort, Alon Las Vegas.
Bascom now owns about 25 apartment complexes in the valley, but its best-known property here is likely Vantage Lofts in Henderson. The company bought the 110-unit luxury rental complex — formerly an abandoned, partially built condo project — with Oaktree last year for about $38.2 million, Clark County records show, or $347,000 per unit.
Camden, meanwhile, said Tuesday it operates 158 residential properties with 55,254 apartment units combined.
As of Dec. 31, it operated 15 apartment complexes in the Las Vegas area. Their average occupancy rates hovered around 95 percent last year, according to a regulatory filing.
In spring 2013, Camden and New York-based DRA Advisors sold 14 local apartment complexes, comprising some 3,100 units, for $200 million to the Wolff Co. of Scottsdale, Ariz.