Apartment buildings in Koreatown continue to be a popular buy for investors. Murano Apartments, a 46-unit multifamily property at 342-50 S. Catalina St., was sold recently to Beverly Hills real estate company SM Management for $11.6 million, or about $252,000 a unit. The seller, San Mateo investment group TDA Inc., had purchased the building for $5.1 million in 2002, according to CoStar. The property was entirely occupied at the time of sale.

Asking rents for the building’s 31 one-bedroom units and 15 two-bedroom units range from $1,123 a unit to $1,675.

Brent Sprenkle, a partner in the Westwood office for Berkadia, a joint venture of Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National Corp., represented both buyer and seller in the deal. He said SM was willing to pay a big price for the 25-year-old building because it is confident the property can be repositioned.

“They see really heavy demand for rentals and a constrained market, and they feel strongly that they can raise rents in that building significantly,” he said. “They also own a lot of other assets in the area, so they were familiar with the market.”

Multifamily vacancy in the Central Los Angeles submarket, where Koreatown falls, was 6.5 percent in the third quarter, up from 6 percent in the same period a year earlier, according to data provided by Berkadia. Still, rents have continued to climb, rising 6.9 percent year over year in the third quarter to $3,058 a month.

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