UNITED STATES - ING Clarion Partners has closed one of the largest single apartment investments in some time and purchased a 217-unit in Hoboken, New Jersey, for $116.2m (€75.5m).

Brian Watkins, director at ING Clarion, said the company was so confident about this market it did not require any pre-leasing requirements when it issued a forward commitment to purchase 1000 Jefferson from the developer in early 2007.

"We like this property and the apartment market in general. This asset is located along the Hudson River from New York City.  This should attract urban professionals who want to live and work in the New York metro area.

Watkins continued: "In many cases we do require some pre-leasing requirements but in this case we didn't because of how strongly we felt about the market.  This has worked out well for us as the property is now 80% leased after just recently being completed."

ING continue to view the multi-family rental housing market favorably in the United States, because the firm believes fundamentals remain sound, supported by good demographic trends, a decline in the purchase of residential housing by individuals and a restrained construction pipeline, as seen in the US subprime housing crisis.

Over the next four years, the population of primary renters - aged between 19 to 35 - is expected to grow by 3.2 million people, led by the "echo boomer" cohort entering the workforce, generating continued demand for apartments.

The acquisition of the property was accomplished in an all-cash deal from the developer, Tarragon Corporation as a core acquisition to one of its commingled funds.

While the firm is still searching for similar kinds of properties in a variety of other markets around the country, ING is now less bullish on Florida as officials believe there are too many assets on the market and note many of the condominium units have not been sold as apartments.