As the year winds down and investors gear up for 2015, apartment sales slowed in November. 

Apartment transactions totaled $8.7 billion in the month, which was a 14 percent year-over-year decline, according to New York based Real Capital Analytics (RCA). The sale of garden communities fell 5 percent and mid- and high-rise sales dropped 27 percent. 

Though the pace of sales slowed, cap rates continued to compress in November, dropping 10 basis points to 5.8 percent nationally. In the third quarter, cap rates hit record lows.


For 2014, the apartment sector has accounted for $96.9 billion, which is up 7 percent from last year.

“The sector is well on track to beat the $102.5 billion of volume recorded in 2013, and may top the all-time high of $105.2 billion recorded in 2007 but much of it depends on activity in December,” RCA said in the report.

Cap Rate Compression Since 2010

The deals closed in December to date, and the pipeline of end-of-year deals, has been modest, RCA reports. But a slowdown in the last two months of the year may actually be a sign of a strong market, unlike the spike in volumes seen earlier in the recovery

“We typically see a push to get deals out the door early in the fourth quarter in an effort to get them done before the end of the year,” says Joshua Goldfarb, managing partner of Atlanta-based Multi Housing Advisors. “In the holiday period, you see less new offerings and a lot of closings. In 2010 and 2011, we saw tremendous volume in the fourth quarter, but that was banks who wanted to get toxic assets off of their balance sheets by the end of year."