Why commercial property?
Compared to residential property investments, commercial property offers some key advantages:
Long-term secure cashflow — Commercial lets normally have long lease contracts, with periods of 10 years and more not being uncommon. In addition to this, commercial property tenants are less likely to default on payments and even if the tenant goes into liquidation, the liquidator may continue paying the rent in order to stop the lease being forfeited.
Maintenance — Commercial tenants are generally liable for the maintenance and upkeep of the property, contrasting with residential leasing, where the onus tends to be on the landlord.
Income yield — Commercial property tends to deliver a relatively high income yield throughout the rental period. In comparison residential property investors rely on the capital value of the house increasing to generate a good return. This is fine during periods of rising property prices, but less beneficial during property slumps.
Commercial property investments have also performed well in terms of growth and stability, compared to equities and gilts over recent years.
Commercial property for the personal investor
Few personal investors will have sufficient funds to invest directly in a commercial property, however there are opportunities for indirect investment. Continue reading
Commercial real estate appraisal is a combination of art and science. Knowledgeable appraisers gather and analyze data prior to making informed decisions about real estate value. The appraisal profession has developed a series of well-established analytical techniques; the cost approach, income approach and sales comparison approach. The most appropriate approaches depend upon the characteristics of the subject property.
The cost approach is considered most applicable for commercial real estate appraisals for relatively new properties and special-use properties. Commercial real estate appraisers are less likely to use the cost approach for older properties due to the difficulty of precisely calculating the amount of depreciation.
The income approach is considered most applicable for investment or income properties. Appraisers gather data regarding the actual income and expenses for the subject property, rental comparables, expense comparables, industry expense data, market occupancy, and rental market trends. The commercial real estate appraiser then estimates gross potential income, other income, effective gross income, operating expenses, and net operating income. Net operating income is converted into an indication of market value using a conversion factor termed the capitalization rate, using the following formula:
Market value = net operating income/capitalization rate. This process is termed direct capitalization.
The income approach can also be calculated using a discounted cash flow analysis. Continue reading