Video: Real Estate Right Now | Valuation Metrics (Part 1)
November 17, 2021 | BY Alan Botwinick & Ben Spielman
Roth&Co’s latest video series: Real Estate Right Now.
Presented by Alan Botwinick and Ben Spielman, co-chairs of the Roth&Co Real Estate Department, this series covers the latest real estate trends and opportunities and how you can make the most of them. This episode discusses critical valuation metrics used to calculate the potential of an investment property.
Watch our short video:
Investing in real estate can be profitable, rewarding and successful. At the same time, the real estate investment industry is also demanding, competitive and very often, risky. Success requires a combination of knowledge, organization and determination, and while this article may not be able to supply some of those requirements, it will help increase your knowledge about how to initially assess a real estate investment. Here are three useful tools to help calculate the potential of an investment property:
o Gross Rent Multiplier (GRM)
o Price Per Unit (PPU)
o Capitalization Rate (Cap Rate)
Gross Rent Multiplier (GRM)
When an investor considers buying a commercial or rental property, he’ll need to know how long it will take to earn back his investment. The GRM is a simple calculation that tells us how many years of rent it will take to pay off the cost of an investment purchase. The GRM formula compares a property’s fair market value (the price of the property) to its gross rental income.
Gross Rent Multiplier = Purchase Price / Gross Annual Rental Income
The result of the calculation represents how many years it will take for the investor to recoup the money he spent on the purchase of the property. The lower the gross rent multiplier, the sooner the investor can expect to get his money back.
Calculating an investment property’s GRM is not complex and will result in a useful metric, but in practicality, it does not consider operating costs such as the debt service coverage, the property’s maintenance expenses, taxes, local property values and other important factors that strongly impact the profitability of an investment
Experienced investors use the GRM metric to make quick assessments of their opportunities, and to quickly weed through their options. A high GRM may serve as a red flag, directing the investor to look elsewhere and spend more time analyzing more optimal options.
Price Per Unit (PPU)
Another tool in the investment arsenal is the PPU, or Price Per Unit. This calculates just that – the price per door on your investment property. The calculation is simple:
Price Per Unit = Purchase Price / Number of Units
In other words, the PPU is the amount the seller is asking per unit in the building. The PPU can provide a broad view of the market and can give you a good idea of how one property compares to another. The downside of the calculation is that it does not determine the ROI or Return on Investment. PPU does not take any other features of the property into consideration, so its usefulness is limited.
Capitalization Rate (Cap Rate)
The Cap Rate is a realistic tool that considers an investment’s operating expenses and income, and then calculates its potential rate of return (as opposed to the GRM, which looks only at gross income). The higher the Cap Rate, the better it is for the investor. Why is it realistic? Because the Cap Rate estimates how profitable an income property will be, relative to its purchase price, including its operational expenses in the computation.
Capitalization Rate = Net Operating Income / Purchase Price
Like any other calculation, the Cap Rate will only be as accurate as the numbers applied. If a potential investor under- or overestimates the property’s operational costs or other factors, the calculated Cap Rate won’t be accurate.
There is no one-size-fits-all calculation that will direct an investor to real estate heaven. However, utilizing basic tools like the GRM, PPU and Cap Rate will give an investor a broad view of the investment’s potential. Using these tools to jumpstart the due diligence process can help the investor determine whether further research into the investment is warranted and what a property’s potential for profit may be.
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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, nor should it be relied upon for legal or tax advice. If you have any specific legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, please consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.