Definition of "Capitalization rate"

Natalie Bell real estate agent

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Natalie Bellelite badge icon

Keating Real Estate

Also known as “cap rate” or “income yield”, Capitalization Rate is a useful way to compute the rate of return on a real estate investment. It is commonly used in the Income approach to determine the Market Value of a property.

Say you want to buy a property just to rent it and make a profit. You will be advised to discover the cap rate of that property in order to calculate what you will approximately earn renting that property to a Tenant.

To discover the capitalization rate of a property, divide the Net Operating Income (NOI) by the amount you’ll pay to acquire that property. In short, the capitalization rate is the value that one property produces divided by the value that property costs.

Here’s an example to better visualize it:

A building is for sale. It cost $100,000 when it was built 20 years ago. And it produces - between residential and commercial rent - $50,000 a year. The capitalization rate is 50,000/100,000, which equals 0.5%.

An important thing to realize regarding the cap rate is that it does not take into consideration the depreciation of a property. That’s why, when valuing a house, it’s crucial for an Appraiser to use all methods of evaluation appropriate to the case.


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