# Cap Rate in Real Estate [Everything to Know]

Written By
Written By
Dan Buckley
Dan Buckley is an US-based trader, consultant, and part-time writer with a background in macroeconomics and mathematical finance. He trades and writes about a variety of asset classes, including equities, fixed income, commodities, currencies, and interest rates. As a writer, his goal is to explain trading and finance concepts in levels of detail that could appeal to a range of audiences, from novice traders to those with more experienced backgrounds.
Updated

The cap rate is one of the most important concepts in real estate investing.

But what exactly is a cap rate?

In this article, we’ll give you a complete guide to understanding cap rates and how to use them in your investment decision-making process.

## What is a Cap Rate?

A cap rate is a measure of the expected return on an investment property.

It is calculated by dividing the property’s annual net operating income (NOI) by the purchase price.

The higher the cap rate, the higher the expected return on investment.

## Cap Rate – Key Takeaways

1. A cap rate is a tool used by real estate investors to measure the potential return on investment of a property.

2. The higher the cap rate, the higher the potential return on investment.

3. Cap rates are influenced by a number of factors, including market conditions, property type, and location.

4. When considering an investment property, be sure to do your research and understand the risks involved before making a decision.

## What is the Cap Rate Formula?

The cap rate is one of the most important ratios in real estate investing.

It tells you the return on your investment, or how much profit you can expect to make from your property. The formula is simple:

Cap Rate = Net Operating Income / Property Value

For example, let’s say you purchase a property for \$1,000,000 and it generates \$100,000 in net operating income. Your cap rate would be 10%.

To calculate your return on investment, simply multiply your cap rate by your property value. In this example, your return would be \$100,000 (10% x \$1,000,000).

Investors use the cap rate to compare properties and make investment decisions.

A higher cap rate usually means a better return on investment.

The cap rate is also a helpful tool for evaluating the risk of an investment.

A property with a higher cap rate is usually considered to be riskier than a property with a lower cap rate.

## Why is the Cap Rate Important?

The cap rate is important because it provides a quick way to compare different investment properties.

For example, let’s say you are considering two properties:

• Property A has an asking price of \$1,000,000 and an annual NOI of \$100,000.
• Property B has an asking price of \$2,000,000 and an annual NOI of \$100,000.

Property A has a cap rate of 10%, while Property B has a cap rate of 5%.

This means that Property A is expected to provide a higher return on investment than Property B.

## How to Use the Cap Rate in Your Investment Decision-Making Process

Let’s look at how you can use it in your investment decision-making process.

### Calculate the cap rate

The first step is to calculate the cap rate for each property you are considering.

As we mentioned earlier, the cap rate is calculated by dividing the property’s annual NOI by the purchase price.

You can find the NOI in the property listing or by contacting the listing agent.

### Compare among different properties

Once you have calculated the cap rate, you can use it to compare different properties and make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

Keep in mind that the cap rate is just one factor to consider when making an investment decision.

You should also look at things like the location of the property, the condition of the property, and your own personal investing goals.

## What is Cap Rate Compression?

One final thing to keep in mind is that cap rates can change over time.

This phenomenon is called “cap rate compression.”

Cap rate compression occurs when interest rates fall and investors are willing to accept a lower return on their investment.

This results in a decrease in the cap rates of properties, all else being equal.

## What is the Cap Rate on Rental Properties?

The cap rate is one of the most important metrics for rental property owners and investors.

It’s a measure of the return on investment for a property, and it tells you how much income you can expect to earn from the property each year.

To calculate the cap rate, you divide the property’s annual net operating income by its purchase price.

For example, if a property has an annual net operating income of \$30,000 and it cost \$300,000 to purchase, then the cap rate would be 10%.

The higher the cap rate, the more profitable the investment will be.

That’s why it’s important to know what the average cap rate is for rental properties in your area before you purchase a property.

## Cap Rates – Urban vs. Rural vs. Small Towns and Cities

The average cap rate for rental properties varies depending on the location of the property.

In general, properties in larger cities will have lower cap rates than those in smaller towns or rural areas.

This is because there is more demand for rental properties in larger cities, and therefore, they tend to be more expensive to purchase.

However, growing cities tend to offer more upside. As areas get wealthier, they tend to attract higher rents, which increases the potential cap rate and selling price of a property.

This is analogous to growth stocks vs. value stocks.

Growth stocks tend to have higher P/E multiples, or a lower amount of earnings per every dollar invested. But the trade-off is that they provide higher upside.

If you’re looking to invest in rental property, be sure to do your research and find out what the average cap rate is for the area where you’re considering purchasing.

With that information, you can make an informed decision about whether or not the investment is one that fits their goals and objectives.

## What is the Cap Rate for Multifamily?

The cap rate, or capitalization rate, is a metric used to assess the profitability of an investment property.

The cap rate is calculated by dividing the net operating income (NOI) by the property’s purchase price. The higher the cap rate, the more profitable the investment.

Multifamily properties typically have higher cap rates than other types of investment properties, such as single-family homes or single-use office buildings.

This is due to the fact that multifamily properties generate income from multiple sources (i.e., rental income from multiple units), which can help to offset any vacancy risk.

Investors should keep in mind that the cap rate is just one factor to consider when assessing an investment property.

Other factors such as location, condition of the property, and the overall market conditions should also be taken into account.

Click a broker for details
1. 1
FOREX.com
Active Trader Program With A 15% Reduction In Costs

Ratings
4.9 / 5
4 / 5
4.3 / 5
4.6 / 5
4.6 / 5
4.3 / 5
4.8 / 5
4.5 / 5
3.6 / 5
3.8 / 5

\$100
0.01 Lots
1:50
NFA, CFTC
Forex, Stocks, Futures, Futures Options
Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, Neteller, ACH Transfer
USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, PLN
2. 2

Ratings
4.3 / 5
2.8 / 5
2.9 / 5
4.3 / 5
4.5 / 5
4 / 5
4 / 5
3.5 / 5
3 / 5
3.2 / 5

\$0
0.01 Lots
1:50
NFA, CFTC
Forex, Stocks, Options, Commodities, Futures, Crypto
NinjaTrader Desktop, Web & Mobile, eSignal
ACH Transfer, Debit Card, Wire Transfer
USD
3. 3
eToro USA
Invest \$100 and get \$10
https://www.daytrading.com/ is not an affiliate and may be compensated if you access certain products or services offered by the MSB and/or the BD.

Ratings
4.3 / 5
3 / 5
3.9 / 5
3.4 / 5
4 / 5
3 / 5
4.3 / 5
4.5 / 5
4.3 / 5
4 / 5

\$10
\$10
SEC, FINRA
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Crypto
ACH Transfer, Debit Card, PayPal, Wire Transfer
USD
4. 4
OANDA US
CFDs are not available to residents in the United States.

Ratings
4.5 / 5
3.5 / 5
2.8 / 5
4 / 5
4.5 / 5
3.5 / 5
4.3 / 5
3.8 / 5
4.7 / 5
3.7 / 5

\$0
0.01 Lots
1:50
NFA, CFTC
Forex, Crypto with Paxos (Cryptocurrencies are offered through Paxos. Paxos is a separate legal entity from OANDA)
Wire Transfer, Visa, Mastercard, Debit Card, ACH Transfer
USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, HKD, SGD

## What is Cap Rate Expansion?

Cap Rate Expansion is a strategy that real estate investors use to increase the return on their investment.

By definition, Cap Rate Expansion is the difference between the initial cap rate and the new, higher cap rate after improvements have been made to the property.

The goal of Cap Rate Expansion is to make improvements to a property that will increase its value and, as a result, its potential rental income.

The increased rental income will then lead to a higher cap rate, which means a higher return on investment for the investor.

One of the most common ways to achieve Cap Rate Expansion is by making cosmetic improvements to the property, such as painting, carpeting, or updating fixtures.

These types of improvements can often be made relatively cheaply and easily, and they can lead to a significant increase in rental income.

In some cases, more extensive improvements may be necessary to achieve the desired level of Cap Rate Expansion.

For example, if a property is in need of major repairs, such as a new roof or HVAC system, the investment required to make these repairs can be substantial.

However, if the repairs are made and the rental income increases as a result, the cap rate expansion can be significant.

Cap Rate Expansion is an important strategy for real estate investors to consider when looking to improve their return on investment.

By making improvements to a property that will increase its value and potential rental income, investors can potentially achieve a higher return on their investment.

## What is Cap Rate Percentage?

The cap rate percentage is the return on investment that an investor can expect to receive from a real estate property.

The higher the percentage, the greater the return.

For example, if an investor were to purchase a property for \$500,000 and the property’s cap rate was 10%, then the investor would expect to receive \$50,000 in annual return from the property.

## What is the Cap Rate in the Hotel Industry?

The cap rate is also a metric used in the hotel industry to help assess the potential return on investment of a hotel property.

In general, a higher cap rate indicates a higher potential return on investment, while a lower cap rate indicates a lower potential return on investment.

There are a number of factors that can impact the cap rate of a hotel property, including location, size, quality, and age.

Additionally, economic conditions can also impact the cap rate of a hotel property.

For example, during periods of economic growth, hotels typically see an increase in occupancy and revenue as people have more discretionary spending, which results in a higher cap rate.

Conversely, during periods of economic decline, hotels typically see a decrease in occupancy and revenue, which results in a lower cap rate.

Thus, the cap rate can be a helpful metric for assessing the potential return on investment of a hotel property, but it is important to keep in mind that there are a number of factors that can impact the cap rate.

### How Do Hotel Cap Rate Compare to Other Forms of Real Estate?

Hotels tend to be more cyclical.

Spending on hotels is a form of discretionary spending.

On the other hand, everyone needs a place to live. Moreover, student housing is also less cyclical and perhaps somewhat counter-cyclical since more people go to college when labor markets are weaker.

For example, many people are likely to pass up business school during hot labor markets.

Investors should, therefore, be aware that hotel cap rates will tend to be more volatile than other types of real estate.

In addition, hotels are also generally much more leveraged than other types of real estate.

For example, a student housing project may be more likely to be financed with 50% equity and 50% debt while a hotel is often financed with 80% or even 90% debt because of their larger size.

The higher the leverage, the greater the risks and rewards.

Of course, there are also many different types of hotels. For example, luxury hotels will have very different economics and different revenue streams than budget hotels.

Location is also critical. A hotel in Manhattan, New York will tend to have different economics than a hotel in Omaha.

Local laws are also important to understand.

Investors should, therefore, carefully consider all of these factors before investing in a hotel.

## What is the Cap Rate for Apartments?

The cap rate for apartment complexes depends on a number of factors, including the location, size, age, and condition of the property.

The average cap rate for apartment complexes nationwide is around 5-6 percent.

However, there are always exceptions to this rule depending on the specific market conditions.

For example, if you are looking at an apartment complex in a small town that is not growing very rapidly, the cap rate may not have a lot of upside.

On the other hand, if you are looking at an apartment complex in a large city with a strong economy and population growth, the cap rate may be likely to grow.

Ultimately, it is important to do your own research on the specific market conditions before making any investment decisions.

## What is the Cap Rate in Self-Storage?

The cap rate in self-storage depends on a number of factors, including:

• the location of the facility
• the type of storage units offered, and
• the overall condition of the property.

In general, however, the average cap rate for self-storage is between 6 and 12 percent.

When determining the cap rate for a self-storage facility, investors will first consider the income generated by the property.

This includes rent from tenants as well as any other sources of revenue, such as late fees or administration charges.

The operating expenses for the property will also be taken into account, such as utilities, insurance, and maintenance costs.

Once these two factors have been considered, the investor will then calculate the capitalization rate by dividing the net operating income by the purchase price of the property.

For example, if the net operating income for a self-storage facility is \$100,000 and the purchase price is \$1 million, the cap rate would be 10 percent.

The higher the cap rate, the more attractive the investment will be to potential buyers.

However, it is important to remember that cap rates can vary greatly depending on the individual property and market conditions.

## What is Cap Rate Spread?

Cap rate spread is simply the difference between the cap rate of the property you are considering purchasing and interest rates.

For example, if interest rates are 3 percent and the cap rate in the property you’re considering is 7 percent, the cap rate spread is 4 percent taking the difference.

The higher the cap rate spread, the more attractive the real estate investment looks relative to investing in risk-free securities like cash or government bonds.

If you’re looking to invest in a property, it’s important to understand and monitor cap rate spread as part of your investment decision-making process.

When cap rate spreads are higher, real estate looks more attractive. When cap rate spreads are lower, it’s generally a sign that real estate less attractive relative to other investment options.

Investors should always monitor changes in the spread to make sure they are still getting a good return relative to the risk they’re taking on.

### What is the Impact of Cap Rate Spread on Your Investment?

The impact of cap rate spread will depend on the type of investment you’re considering.

For example, if you’re looking at a property with a high cap rate relative to low interest rates, the spread may make the investment more attractive.

On the other hand, if you’re considering a property with a lower cap rate relative to higher interest rates, the spread may make the investment less attractive.

In general, a higher spread indicates that real estate is a more attractive investment than other options available. A lower spread indicates that real estate is relatively less attractive.

Investors should always monitor changes in the spread to make sure they are still getting a good return relative to the risk they’re taking on.

## FAQs – Cap Rate

### What Is Cap Rate in Real Estate?

The cap rate, or capitalization rate, is the most common method of measuring return on investment (ROI) for commercial real estate.

The higher the cap rate, the greater the ROI.

### How Is Cap Rate Calculated?

To calculate the cap rate, divide the property’s net operating income (NOI) by its purchase price.

For example, if a property has an NOI of \$100,000 and it was purchased for \$1 million, then its cap rate would be 10 percent.

### What Are the Pros and Cons of a High Cap Rate?

A high cap rate indicates a higher ROI, which is usually a good thing.

However, it’s important to remember that a higher cap rate also generally means higher risk.

So, while a high cap rate can be a good thing, it’s important to do your due diligence and make sure you understand the risks involved before making any investment decisions.

### What Are the Pros and Cons of a Low Cap Rate?

A low cap rate indicates a lower ROI, which may not be as attractive as a high cap rate.

However, it’s important to remember that a lower cap rate also means lower risk.

So, while a low cap rate may not be as exciting as a high cap rate, it’s still important to do your due diligence and make sure you understand the risks involved before making any investment decisions.

The bottom line is that cap rate is just one tool you can use to measure ROI.

It’s important to remember that there are other factors to consider when making any investment decision, such as the property’s location, condition, and potential for appreciation.

### What Are Some Other Metrics Associated with Evaluating Real Estate?

In addition to the cap rate, there are a number of other metrics that can be used to evaluate real estate.

Some of these include cash on cash return, internal rate of return (IRR), and debt service coverage ratio (DSCR).

Each of these metrics has its own strengths and weaknesses. It’s no different than public markets and knowing when to apply different valuation metrics in different situations.

For example, you wouldn’t apply EV/EBITDA to a bank, but you might apply it to a retailer.

You might not apply P/S to a mature business, but you might apply it to a fast-growing company.

### What Are the Different Types of Real Estate?

There are many different types of real estate, including residential, commercial, industrial, and land.

Each type of real estate has its own unique characteristics and investment considerations.

Be sure to consult with a qualified professional to learn more about the different types of real estate and which one might be right for your investment portfolio.

### How Does the Cap Rate Vary by Real Estate Industry?

While there are many different types of real estate, hotels tend to be more cyclical. This is because spending on hotels is a form of discretionary spending.

People are more likely to cut back on travel and vacations during economic downturns.

On the other hand, everyone needs a place to live.

People going back to school is also more common in weaker economies.

Therefore, student housing is often considered to be less cyclical and perhaps even counter-cyclical since more people go to college when labor markets are weaker.

For example, during strong labor markets, many workers may forego further education in favor of working.

### What Are the Different Types of Real Estate Investment trusts (REITs)?

There are many different types of REITs, including equity, mortgage, and hybrid.

Each type of REIT has its own unique characteristics and investment considerations.

### What Is Due Diligence?

Due diligence is the process of investigating a potential investment to determine its suitability.

This process typically includes a review of financial statements, property inspections, and other relevant information.

## Conclusion – Cap Rate

The cap rate is a vital concept for any real estate investor to understand.

It provides a quick way to compare different investment properties and make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

Keep in mind that the cap rate is just one factor to consider when making an investment decision.

You should also look at things like the location of the property, the condition of the property, and the potential for appreciation.