Apartment sales in the Inland Empire hit a record in the fourth quarter of 2018 as eager investors jumped up to buy properties. Seen here is Town Center Garden Apartments in Riverside, CA, which sold for $6.05 million in late summer. (Courtesy of CBRE)

Sales of apartment complexes in the Inland Empire soared in the fourth quarter of 2018, setting a single-quarter record for money changing hands, CoStar reported Friday.

After three years of heightened investment from 2015 to 2017, most of last year appeared to be a weak one for apartment deals. That weakness reversed in the fourth quarter when sales volume hit an estimated $871 million.

The former single-quarter record for apartment sales in the two-county area was $830 million, set in the second quarter of 2007, CoStar reported.

CoStar did not list the data for 2015 through 2017 or for the first nine months of 2018 but said the final three months suggests the Inland Empire is very much on investors’ radar.

“These recent apartment sales demonstrate how the Inland Empire is gaining recognition from multifamily investors for offering stable supply-demand fundamentals, and perhaps beginning to shed its reputation as a boom-bust market,” Costar wrote in its analysis.

The boom started in October when Singapore-based CapitaLand bought a 16-property portfolio for $835 million that included three apartment complexes (1,144 units) in Corona. Later that month, Los Angeles-based Afton Properties landed a 288-unit property in Riverside for $63 million, and in November Crow Holdings bought 514-unit Ironwood at Empire Lakes Apartments in Rancho Cucamonga for $146 million.