The past decade bore witness to the largest multifamily deals in history, all of which occurred before the capital markets came crashing to a halt in mid-2008. They are:

1. $22.2 billion acquisition of Archstone-Smith (2007)
2. $5.4 billion purchase of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village (2006)
3. ING's purchase of Gables Residential for $2.8 billion (2005)
4. Morgan Stanley's acquisition of AMLI Residential for $2.1 billion (2006)
5. Merger of Camden Property Trust and Summit Properties for $1.9 billion (2005)
6. Acquisition of Kushner Cos. portfolio by Morgan Properties, AIG for $1.9 billion (2007)
7. UDR portfolio purchased by Steven D. Bell & Co., DRA Advisors for $1.71 billion (2008)
8. Morgan Stanley's buyout of Town and Country Trust for $1.5 billion (2006)
9. AIMCO's acquisition of Casden Properties for $1.5 billion (2002)
10. American Campus Communities' buyout of GMH's portfolio for $1.4 billion (2008)

At the top of the list is an acquisition that won’t soon be toppled from its perch: the $22.2 billion acquisition of mega-REIT Archstone-Smith by a partnership of Tishman Speyer Properties and Lehman Brothers Holdings in 2007. The drop-off to the next largest deal, the $5.4 billion acquisition of Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town a year earlier, is substantial but that deal also involved Tishman Speyer.

REIT privatizations accounted for a number of the Top 10 deals. In fact, Morgan Stanley made the list twice—for its $2.1 billion buy of AMLI Residential as well as its $1.5 billion acquisition of Town and Country Trust, both in 2006. Not surprisingly, none of the decade's largest deals occurred in 2009. So, Apartment Finance Today turns its gaze to sunnier, more capitalistic times in the not-too-distant past, when blockbuster deals broke the bank.