Monday, January 7, 2019

How to calculate the true value of a commercial property which provide steady stream of rental income for the investor?

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

In our blog post titled “How to calculate the true value of the property”; we primarily focused on valuation of a residential property. In this post, we will however, focus on valuation of commercial properties which provide steady stream of rental income for the investor. This valuation approach is based on the principle that the value of a property is related to its ability to produce cash flows. For this approach 3 techniques are commonly discussed.

  • Gross income multiplier:

Gross income multipliers are relationship between gross income and the sale prices for all comparable properties that are applied to the subject property.

Gross income multipliers (GM) = Sales Price/Gross Income

In arriving at a value for the subject property, the appraiser must develop an estimate of gross income based on the market data on comparable commercial properties. For the comparable properties the gross income should be annual income at the time the property is sold. Some appraisers use potential gross income (which assumes all space is occupied). Others use effective gross income (potential gross income less vacancies).  Since this method relies on gross income, therefore an assumption is made that the operating expenses are about the same proportion of gross income for all properties. This method relies heavily on current market transactions involving the sale of comparable properties. These techniques resemble the sales comparison method for valuation of a property discussed in the previous section in many ways. The focus of these techniques is to determine a market value that is consistent with prices being paid for comparable properties trading in the market place. However, rather than giving priority to adjusting for differences in value by adding and subtracting directly from the prices of comparable properties for physical and location attributes, these two methods tend to focus first on the income producing aspect of comparable properties relative to the prices at which they were sold. Adjustments are then made for physical and location dissimilarities.

  • Capitalization rate

This technique is similar to the Gross income technique except that it considers net operating income (NOI) rather than the gross income of comparable properties. When it is suspected that differences in operating expenses exist between comparable, the focus of the analysis should be shifted from gross income to NOI.

Capitalization Rate (cap rate) R = NOI/Sales Price

Following data should be collected to calculate capitalization rate:

Sale price, rent, and operating expenses should be collected from brokers, agents who were involved in the sale of comparable properties.

Important warning: both Gross income multipliers and cap rate approaches does not assure that the property will be a good investment if purchased. They only assure the buyer that it is a competitive market price and that if the method is applied correctly, the buyer is not overpaying or underpaying for the property relative to what other investors have paid for similar properties. The question of whether or not it is a good investment will depend on the future growth in rents, income, and property values.

  • Discounted present value techniques
This income approach is based on the principle that investors will pay no more for a property than the present value of all future NOIs. Based on the knowledge of market supply and demand, lease terms, as well as income and expenses, a forecast for cash flow is developed for a period for which we have knowledge regarding supply and demand, lease terms, income, and expenses. Normal forecasting period are 10 years.

  1. The first step in this technique is to forecast NOI (based on market supply and demand, lease terms, and expenses)
  2. The second step is to select a relevant period of analysis or the holding period for the investment.
  3. The third step is the selection of a discount rate (r) – this discount rate is the desired return for the real estate investment based on its risk when compared with returns earned on competing investments and other capital market benchmarks.
  4. Present value of expected NOI beyond the holding period. These cash flows are represented with reversion value (REV) or resale price.

Presently, capitalization rate method is used in India when evaluating the worth of the income generating properties. The discounted present value method relies on assumptions about demand and supply and therefore, there are possibilities of arriving at the wrong value of the property. 

Now, whenever you as an investor are looking to sell your commercial property such as office space or retail outlet, do your calculations as explained by us and make sure you get the right value of your property. Alternatively, if as an investor, you are looking to buy a commercial property, make sure to do these calculations in order to ascertain that you are not overpaying.

In a nutshell:

Did you calculate the true worth of your property before selling?? Let us know at

Have any Questions?


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