Luxury apartments near Windermere sell for big profit
A 276-unit luxury apartment complex in west Orange County near Windermere and Ocoee sold recently for $80.2 million — 43.3% more than it last traded for in 2016.
101 Casa Mirella Way LLC, an entity related to Austin, Texas-based GVA Real Estate Group, on Aug. 1 bought Casa Mirella Apartment Homes at 101 Casa Mirella Way from MAR Casa Mirella LLC, an entity related to Miami-based Starwood Capital Group, Orange County records showed.
Built in 2012 and delivered in 2013, the community is southwest of Maguire and Roberson roads, just outside of Ocoee city limits and less than 2 miles north along Maguire Road from Windermere’s town limits.
The property last sold in November 2016 for $56 million by several entities with the common name RAIA FL SPE — related to New Jersey-based Raia Properties Corp. The Raia entities owned the community for less than two years, after buying Casa Mirella 16 months earlier from original developer Unicorp National Development Inc. for $50 million in 2015.
The property’s most recent transaction accounted for more than $290,600 per unit, and appears to be GVA’s first acquisition in metro Orlando, based on its property listings on its website. GVA and Starwood representatives were unavailable for comment.
That said, the big-profit sale joins a trend of multifamily properties being a popular commodity with institutional buyers, even as economic headwinds — namely inflation and rising interest rates — threaten to subdue the asset type’s national momentum.
Florida metros led the nation for year-over-year rent growth, and Orlando’s 24% increase across all classes of apartments ranks first in the U.S., per Santa Barbara, California-based real estate data firm Yardi’s June 2022 multifamily report, the most recent data available.
“As the economy begins to cool down, the strong labor market will allow rents to continue to increase but at slower rates as the year progresses,” per the report.
Metro Orlando in-migration and the demand it creates largely are responsible for those rent increases, and those market fundamentals are the reason other players in the multifamily space — such as Altamonte Springs-based LeCesse Development Corp. — remain bullish.
“Even though there are headwinds now with the economic uncertainty, we still think there are good long-term fundamentals, especially in Florida, and there is a demand for housing,” LeCesse COO Caleb Keenan told Orlando Business Journal.
The Casa Mirella Apartment Homes are in the Windermere multifamily submarket, which has an average monthly apartment rent of $2,237 per unit, or $2.05 per square foot — third-highest among metro Orlando submarkets, according to CoStar Group.
The submarket also boasts the area’s lowest average vacancy rate at 2.9%. Both metrics compare favorably to those of the larger Orlando market, which has an average monthly rent of $1,819 and average vacancy rate of 5%.