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File photo of David Arthur, managing partner at Brookfield.

Tibor Kolley/The Globe and Mail

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is expanding its U.S. residential real estate portfolio with the acquisition of 19 apartment communities containing almost 5,000 units.

Toronto-based Brookfield said on Monday the deal to buy 4,892 units located in North and South Carolina and Virginia from Babcock & Brown is valued at $414-million (U.S.)

Brookfield says it expects better-than-average occupancy rates and rental increases, based on strong economic and population growth in two key areas: Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham.

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A Brookfield affiliate, Fairfield Residential, already has a portfolio in those markets and will manage the new assets, Brookfield said.

Brookfield said it plans to invest $30-million to selectively upgrade and reposition assets in order to raise rents and the return on investment.

The deal bumps Brookfield's multifamily portfolio in the United States to about 20,000 units.

"The acquisition of this attractive portfolio adds to Brookfield's significant multifamily platform and positions us for continued growth in this property sector," David Arthur, managing partner at Brookfield, said.

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