Sales of apartments totaled a whopping $3.6 billion in the Phoenix metro area through the third quarter.

That is up 51 percent from the same time frame last year and 88 percent from 2013, according to ABI Multifamily in Phoenix.

California investors are leading in the charge of real estate groups, REITs and landlords buying and selling apartment complexes in the region.

California investors accounted for nearly 45 percent of total units transacted in 2016 in a new analysis of the apartment market.

Arizona and Canada investors are next when it comes to buying Phoenix apartments. 35,000 apartment units sold in the Phoenix market in the third quarter.

Arizona-based investors were a distant 2nd with 8,027 units purchased which is a 21 percent decrease from 2015. Rounding out the Top 3 were Canada-based investors who purchased 3,439 units, an 8 percent increase over 2015.