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Capitalization Rate (Cap Rate)

What is a Capitalization Rate (Cap Rate)? 

The Capitalization Rate, commonly referred to as Cap Rate, is a key real estate metric used to estimate the potential return on an investment property. It is calculated by dividing the Net Operating Income (NOI) of the property by its current market value or purchase price. The Cap Rate expresses the relationship between a property’s value and its income, providing investors with a quick way to compare the profitability and risk of different real estate investments.

Importance in REITs

For REIT investors, the Cap Rate is an essential tool for assessing the yield of a property or portfolio without considering financing. A higher Cap Rate indicates a potentially higher return but also comes with higher risk, while a lower Cap Rate suggests a more stable investment with potentially lower returns. It’s crucial for comparing the performance of real estate assets across different markets and sectors.

Calculating Cap Rate

Cap Rate= (Net Operating Income (NOI)/Current Market Value) × 100%

Example: Consider a commercial building that generates an annual Net Operating Income (NOI) of $100,000. If the current market value of this building is $1,250,000, the Cap Rate would be calculated as follows:

($100,000/$1,250,000) × 100% = 8% Cap Rate.

This means that, based on the current income and value, the investment yields an 8% return annually, excluding financing costs and potential capital gains or losses from value appreciation or depreciation. This example illustrates how investors use the Cap Rate to evaluate the potential return on investment and compare different real estate opportunities.