courtesy ofCatherine Reagor, The Republic | azcentral.com4:25 p.m. MST August 26, 2014

A San Diego-based developer has paid $66.6 million for the Lakeview at Superstition Springs apartment complex in southeast Mesa.

It’s one of the biggest apartment deals in metro Phoenix so far this year. Superstition Springs, at 1849 S. Power Road, is one of the region’s biggest complexes, with 676 units, according to commercial real estate research firm Vizzda.

Apartment rents are rising as vacancy rates remain low in the Valley. The average vacancy rate for apartment properties was 6.9 percent as of June 30. More people are opting to rent in prime locations, where they can’t afford to buy.

The average rent for a Phoenix-area apartment is about $820.

San Diego-based Fairfield Residential was the buyer. Chicago-based Heitman sold Lakeview at Superstition Springs, which was built from 1996-98. The deal breaks down to about $98,520 for each apartment.

Apartment sales across metro Phoenix, particularly in popular neighborhoods near shopping centers and jobs, have over the past six months. The average sale price per apartment is $52,000, according to the Phoenix office of Colliers International.

Construction is under way on more than 7,000 Phoenix-area apartment units. Another 5,000 are expected to be built, according to Colliers.