MEMPHIS, Tenn. ( TheStreet) -- Mid-America Apartment Communities ( MAA - Get Report) gained 0.8% Wednesday after the real estate investment trust said it acquired an upscale apartment community in Raleigh, N.C.

Mid-America Apartment Communities said Wednesday it paid $33.6 million for Hue, a recently built, high-end, mid-rise multifamily and retail development in Raleigh's downtown area. The apartment community was originally developed as condominiums, said Mid-America CFO Al Campbell.

The acquisition added 208 units to Mid-America's portfolio of ownership or ownership interest in more than 45,000 apartments throughout the Sunbelt region of the U.S.

The Hue purchase marks Mid-America's second acquisition this month. Last week it announced it had acquired Verandas at Sam Ridley, an upscale 336-unit gated apartment community near Nashville, Tenn. For $32 million.

Earlier this month, Mid-America raised its forecast for 2010 after occupancy rates remained strong in the second quarter and rents increased across its portfolio. Three acquisitions during the period will help it book funds from operations in a range of $3.60 to $3.80 per share, compared with its prior guidance for adjusted FFO of $3.57 to $3.77 per share. FFO is a performance figure generally used by REITs to define cash flow from operations.

Industry peers Essex Property Trust ( ESS - Get Report), BRE Properties ( BRE) and Equity Residential ( EQR - Get Report) have also added new apartment acquisitions to their portfolios this year as the REITs look to pick up low-priced properties before the real estate market recovers fully.

Cap rates, or the rate at which an investment will pay for itself, have suffered across the sector in the recent recession as joblessness led to high vacancy rates and declining rents.

-- Reported by Miriam Marcus Reimer from New York.

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