A Massachusetts investment firm has purchased two adjacent apartment communities in South Portland for a total of $87.5 million in the latest example of southern Maine’s hot multi-family housing market.

Brokers involved in the deal said it was the highest dollar purchase of its type in southern Maine’s history.

Jones Street Investment Partners of Hingham, Massachusetts, purchased the 120-unit Liberty Commons and the 500-unit Redbank Village, both at 62 MacArthur Circle East in South Portland. The seller was Dallas-based private equity firm Lone Star Funds. The sale price per unit was slightly more than $141,000.

CBRE|The Boulos Co. of Portland and CBRE|New England of Boston co-brokered the sale transaction.

Liberty Commons includes one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments ranging in size from 810 square feet to 1,460 square feet, according to an archived version of the website for Home Properties, a real estate investment trust owned by Lone Star. Redbank Village has one- and three-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom townhomes ranging in size from 540 square feet to 840 square feet, the website said. Current rents for the apartments were not available, as the web pages have been shut down.

According to Boston-based commercial real estate news outlet The Real Reporter, which first reported on the sale, Redbank Village was completed in 1945, and Liberty Commons was completed in 2006. Joe Porta, the CBRE|Boulos broker involved in the sale, said Jones Street was one of the few investment buyers interested in both the older and newer properties, which share some amenities such as a clubhouse.

The Liberty Commons and Redbank Village apartment complexes in South Portland have been sold for $87.5 million to a Massachusetts investment firm.

The Liberty Commons and Redbank Village apartment complexes in South Portland have been sold for $87.5 million to a Massachusetts investment firm. Courtesy CBRE|The Boulos Company

“We had a lot of interested parties who wanted one or the other,” Porta said.

The rental market in the greater Portland region has become extremely tight over the past five years, with landlords raising rents by as much as 40 percent in some areas. Most of the increases have occurred over the past three years, according to historical data from the Maine State Housing Authority and a 2015 Portland Press Herald analysis of current rents.

A national report on rents in May 2015 showed that the yearly increase in the Portland region was the second-highest of any metropolitan area in the country.

Recently, more large investors in rental properties have been attempting to cash in on the Portland area’s hot real estate market, and on the low interest rates available to buy multi-family housing units.

Porta said some investors have begun to change their view of the Portland area, which traditionally had been thought of as a small, “tertiary” market rather than a somewhat larger “secondary” market.

“When people are looking at revenue, we’re performing like a secondary market as far as the rents,” he said.

Still, Porta said, only large apartment properties with hundreds of units tend to entice large, out-of-state investors.

In another recent deal, three apartment complexes in Portland and Scarborough were sold to a Massachusetts real estate investment firm in December. The three properties, totaling 309 units, sold for $50.25 million, an average of $162,600 per unit.

The properties were Tamarlane Apartments, 115 units in the Back Cove neighborhood of Portland; Foxcroft Apartments, 104 townhouses located off Route 1 in Scarborough; and Coach Lantern Apartments, 90 townhouses off Winnocks Neck Road in Scarborough.

Philadelphia-based Resource Real Estate sold the properties to Chestnut Realty Management, based in Springfield, Massachusetts, according to CBRE|Boulos.