Using Cap Rates in Real Estate Investing

If you are new to real estate,Guest Posting you are probably wondering about some of the terms you have heard at your real estate investment group or seen on the Internet. Understanding these terms is important to successful real estate investing. One of these terms is “Cap Rate.” Cap Rate is short for Capitalization Rate. Effectively, the Cap Rate is the rate of return provided, prior to financing, by the cash flow of an investment property.

The equation to determine the Cap Rate (CR) of a property looks like this:

NOI/FMV = CR, where NOI is net operating Block Management London income from the property and FMV is the fair market value of the property.

Let me give you a simple example.

Suppose you purchase a property for $500,000. And suppose your net operating income, after operating expenses but before any interest, principle or depreciation, is $50,000. Your Cap Rate is 10%, i.e., 50,000/500,000.

Now, this is your Cap Rate because you know what you paid for the property and you know its cash flow. But, what about the Market Cap Rate? The Market Cap Rate is the average Cap Rate that an investor in a specific market expects for a certain type of property.

You may wonder, “What is the significance of the Market Cap Rate for my property?” Well, values go down as Market Cap Rates go up. Conversely, as market cap rates go down, values go up. We can see this simply by restating the formula as follows:


Let’s take a look at our example when the Market Cap Rate changes.

Suppose the Market Cap Rate for your property goes from 10% to 7%. What does that mean for the value of your property? To find out, simply divide your net operating income (NOI) by the Cap Rate. So, 50,000/.07 = $714,000. Your property’s value went from $500,000 to over $700,000 through no effort of yours, but simply because the Cap Rate went down.

Conversely, suppose the Market Cap Rate goes from 10% to 12%. What does that mean for the value of your property on the open market? Again, simply divide the NOI by the Cap Rate. So, $50,000/.12 = $417,000 So, the value of your property has decreased because the Market Cap Rate has increased.

What causes the Market Cap Rate (MCR) to change? It’s simply a matter of supply and demand. The more demand for investment property, the lower the MCR. The lower the demand for investment property, the higher the MCR.