What Is A Good Cap Rate For Multifamily Real Estate?

What Is A Good Cap Rate For Multifamily Real Estate?

Real estate investors often use the capitalization rate, or cap rate, to evaluate potential investments. It’s an important metric that helps determine how much income a property generates compared to its value.

Generally, a higher cap rate indicates a higher potential return on investment (ROI) but also comes with higher risks.

A good cap rate can vary depending on the investor’s goals, the location of the property, and the type of property. 

This article will discuss what you should know about a cap rate to evaluate multifamily and commercial real estate better.

Join the Passive Investors Circle

What Is a Cap Rate?

The cap rate is an important metric used in the real estate industry to determine the value of a property. It’s a ratio that represents the rate of return an investor can expect to receive on a property based on the net operating income (NOI) generated by the property.

Cap Rate Formula

The formula to calculate the cap rate in real estate is quite simple. It’s calculated by dividing the Net Operating Income (NOI) by the asset’s current market value. Here’s the formula:

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

For example, if a property generates $100,000 in NOI valued at $1,000,000, the cap rate would be 10%

The higher the cap rate, the more attractive the investment is because it indicates a higher rate of return. A lower cap rate, on the other hand, indicates a lower rate of return and may not be as attractive to investors.

It is important to note that cap rate isn’t the only factor to consider when evaluating an investment property. Other factors such as location, market trends, and potential for growth should also be considered.

Cap Rate and Rental Properties

As previously discussed, the higher the cap rate, the better the investment. A cap rate of 10% or higher is generally considered good, while a cap rate of 5% or lower is not ideal.

Investors can use the cap rate to compare the potential profitability of different rental properties. For example, suppose an investor is considering two properties with similar market values, but one has a higher cap rate. That property may be a better investment because it generates more income relative to its value.

An investor needs to know the property’s NOI and market value to calculate the cap rate. NOI is calculated by subtracting operating expenses from gross rental income. Operating expenses include things like:

  • property taxes
  • insurance
  • maintenance
  • management fees

Gross rental income is the total amount of rent collected from tenants.

Higher rents can increase a property’s NOI and, therefore, its cap rate. Investors can also increase their cap rate by reducing operating expenses.

For example, if an investor can negotiate lower property taxes or insurance premiums, the property’s NOI and cap rate will increase.

Annual net operating income is an important factor in determining a property’s cap rate. Investors should calculate the annual net operating income for each property they are considering and compare them to determine which property has a higher potential for profitability.

Don’t Miss Any Updates. Each week I’ll send you advice on how to reach financial independence with passive income from real estate.

Sign up for my newsletter

Operating Expenses and Risk

Operating expenses are a significant factor in determining the cap rate of a property. They include all the costs of running and maintaining the property, such as property taxes, property management fees, insurance, utilities, repairs, and maintenance.

I. Operating Expenses and Cap Rate

Operating Expenses Description
Property Taxes Vary depending on location, significant effect on cap rate.
Property Management Fees Costs of hiring a property management company, impacts cap rate.
Mortgage Payments Higher the mortgage payment, lower the NOI and the cap rate.

II. Risk Assessment with Cap Rates

Cap rates are an essential tool for assessing the risk of a real estate investment. A lower cap rate generally indicates a lower risk investment, while a higher cap rate indicates a higher risk investment. This is because a lower cap rate means that the property is generating a higher income relative to its value, which suggests that it is a more stable and secure investment.

Cap Rate Risk Level Description
Lower Cap Rate Lower Risk Property is generating higher income relative to its value.
Higher Cap Rate Higher Risk Property is generating lower income relative to its value.

Interest Rates and Cap Rate

Interest rates and cap rates are loosely correlated. Rapidly rising interest rates would generally imply upward pressure on cap rates. However, the change in cap rates would typically be mitigated by rent growth prospects, local economic outlook, neighborhood demand/supply balance, and other idiosyncratic factors for a specific property or investment.

It’s important to note that interest rates are a key component of the time value of money. This is the concept that money available at the present time is worth more than the same amount in the future due to its potential earning capacity.

When interest rates are low, investors may be willing to accept a lower cap rate because the time value of money is lower. Conversely, when interest rates are high, investors may require a higher cap rate to compensate for the increased cost of borrowing money.

Investors should also consider the overall economic climate when determining a good cap rate. A lower cap rate may be acceptable in a strong economy with low unemployment and high demand for rental properties. However, in a weaker economy with high unemployment and low demand for rental properties, a higher cap rate may be necessary to compensate for increased risk.

Interest Rates Cap Rate Description
Low Interest Rates Lower Cap Rate Money’s potential earning capacity is lower.
High Interest Rates Higher Cap Rate Increased cost of borrowing money.

Property Types and Their Cap Rates

Cap rates vary depending on the type of property. Below are some examples of the different types of properties and their corresponding cap rates:

  • Single-family homes: These properties usually have cap rates ranging from 1% to 4%. This is because they are often owner-occupied and not rented out, which means they don’t generate much income.

  • Apartment buildings: Cap rates can range from 4% to 8% and depends on the location of the building, the number of units, and the age of the building.

  • Commercial properties: Cap rates for commercial properties can range from 4% to 12%. The cap rate will depend on the property type, location, and tenant mix.

It is important to note that cap rates can vary widely even within the same property type. For example, similar properties in different locations may have significantly different cap rates. Similarly, two different types of commercial properties may have vastly different cap rates.

When considering the cap rate for a specific property, it is important to compare it to similar properties in the same location. This will give a better idea of whether the cap rate is good or bad for that particular market.

Join the Passive Investors Circle

Cap Rate and Returns

One of the benefits of using a cap rate is that it provides a quick and easy way to compare different investment opportunities. For instance, if two properties have the same cap rate, an investor can assume that they offer similar returns on investment.

However, the cap rate alone does not provide a complete picture of the investment’s profitability. To make an informed investment decision, it is essential to consider other factors, such as:

  • cash-on-cash return
  • potential return
  • annual return
  • higher returns
  • internal rate of return

Cash-on-cash return is a metric that measures the annual return on investment based on the amount of cash invested. It’s calculated by dividing the property’s annual cash flow by the total cash invested.

On the other hand, the potential return is the projected return on investment based on the property’s future cash flow.

If you want to learn more about the cash-on-cash return, check out this video:

Annual return is the actual return on investment over one year, while higher returns refer to investments offering higher returns than the average market rate.

Finally, the internal rate of return is a metric that measures the profitability of an investment over the entire holding period, taking into account the time value of money.

Cap Rate and Occupancy Rate

When considering a property’s cap rate, it’s important to consider its occupancy and vacancy rates. These two factors can significantly impact a property’s net operating income (NOI), a key component in calculating cap rate.

The occupancy rate is the percentage of units in a property currently rented out. A high occupancy rate indicates the property is in high demand and can generate more income. On the other hand, a low occupancy rate can signal issues with the property, such as poor management or lack of amenities.

The vacancy rate is the percentage of units in a property that are currently unoccupied. A high vacancy rate can indicate that the property is not in high demand or that there are issues with the property that are deterring potential renters. This can lead to a decrease in income and a lower NOI.

When analyzing a property’s cap rate, it’s important to consider both the occupancy and vacancy rates in conjunction with the property’s NOI. A high occupancy rate and low vacancy rate can lead to a higher NOI and a better cap rate, while a low occupancy rate and high vacancy rate can result in a lower NOI and a lower cap rate.

Don’t Miss Any Updates. Each week I’ll send you advice on how to reach financial independence with passive income from real estate.

Sign up for my newsletter

Geographical Influence on Cap Rate

Geographic location is one of the most significant factors influencing a property’s cap rate. Cap rates vary based on the property’s location, as different regions have different economic conditions, demographics, and real estate markets.

For instance, in San Francisco, the cap rates are typically lower due to the high demand for real estate and the limited availability of land.

As a result, investors may have to pay a premium to acquire properties in the area, which reduces the potential yield.

On the other hand, suburban areas tend to have higher cap rates due to lower demand and availability of land. These areas may offer more affordable properties with higher yields, making them attractive to investors seeking higher returns.

Other factors, such as property appreciation, rental demand, and economic growth, should also be considered.

The table below shows the cap rates for different regions in the United States, as of the second half of 2022, according to the CBRE Cap Rate Survey:

Region Cap Rate
Northeast 5.2%
Southeast 5.8%
Midwest 6.0%
Southwest 6.4%
West 5.4%

The Midwest and Southwest regions have higher cap rates compared to the Northeast and West regions. Investors should consider these differences when evaluating investment opportunities in different regions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good cap rate for multifamily real estate?

Historically, a good cap rate for multifamily properties generally exceeded 4% and could reach up to 10%. This variability is due to many factors that can affect the interpretation of a good cap rate, potentially making a low cap rate seem more attractive or a high one appear less beneficial. One key aspect to consider when evaluating cap rates is the prevailing interest rates.

What is a good cap rate for a single-family home?

A good cap rate for a single-family home can vary depending on the location and condition of the property. Generally, a cap rate of 8% or higher is considered good, but a cap rate of 5% or higher may be acceptable in areas with higher property values and rental rates.

Is a 4% cap rate bad?

A 4% cap rate may not necessarily be bad, but it could indicate that the property is overvalued or that the rental income is insufficient to cover expenses. 

What does a 7.5% cap rate mean?

A 7.5% cap rate means the property generates a net operating income (NOI) equal to 7.5% of its market value.

Why is a higher cap rate riskier?

A higher cap rate can indicate the property is riskier, as it may have lower rental income or higher expenses. This can lead to a higher risk of vacancy or default. However, a higher cap rate can also indicate a higher potential return on investment.

What does a 20% cap rate mean?

A 20% cap rate means the property generates a net operating income (NOI) equal to 20% of its market value. Also, a high cap rate can indicate a higher vacancy risk or default.

Join the Passive Investors Circle