Staff photo by Dave Flessner / The Parc apartment on Gunbarrel Road sold in December 2020.

In its second major apartment acquisition in East Brainerd in as many years, an Atlanta-based real estate investment firm purchased the Parc 1346 apartment complex on Gunbarrel Road for $46.8 million.

The Shoptaw Group, which bought The Shallowford apartments in 2019 for $32 million, bought the 316-unit Parc 1346 complex in December for nearly 60% more than the former owners paid for the property just six years earlier, according to the Hamilton County Register of Deeds.

The purchase was the second highest price ever paid for an apartment complex in Chattanooga and underscores the growing appeal of the local residential rental market to real estate investment firms across the country.

Biggest apartment sales

Three of the five biggest ever apartment sales in Hamilton County were in 2020.

1. The 283-unit Bluebird Row Apartments at the Chattanooga Choo Choo sold for $63.15 million in March 2020.

2. The 316-unit Parc 1346 apartments off of Gunbarrel Road in East Brainerd sold for $46.8 million in December 2020.

3. The 308-unit Marina Pointe Apartments on Lake Shore Drive in Hixson were sold for $44.5 million in October 2020.

4. The Legends at White Oak in Collegedale sold for $41.8 million in September 2016.

5. The 260-unit Hunters Point apartment complex in East Brainerd sold for $35.8 million in September 2019.

Source: Hamilton County Register of Deeds

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According to Hamilton County property records, outside investors have paid nearly $300 million to buy apartment complexes in Chattanooga over the past two years as rental rates have risen and interest rates have dropped.

A study of apartment rental rates for December by the online rental service Zumper showed the average two-bedroom apartment in Chattanooga is renting for $1,200 a month, or 17.6% more than a year ago. Although Chattanooga apartment rental rates average 19.3% less than the U.S. average of $1,487 for a two-bedroom unit, Chattanooga rental rates are rising at some of the fastest rates in the country and more than six times the growth in average income in the past year.

Top real estate transactions in Hamilton County

November 2020

1. $3,800,000

1508 Edgewood Circle

2. $2,650,000

3611 Amnicola Highway

3. $2,526,739.91

1400 37th St.

4. $2,300,000

321 Cherokee Blvd.

5. $2,261,000

4560 Webb Road

6. $2,000,000

11 Minnekahda Trail

7. $1,914,250

Marion County transaction / filed for sliver in Hamilton County

8. $1,900,000

191 Chestnut St.

9. $1,655,000

4405 Delashmitt Road

10. $1,437,500

5007 Mountain Creek Road