How to Calculate the Cap Rate of a Property Cap Rate

By: Mortgage Guru

“Cap Rate” often known as the “capitalization rate,” is useful for anyone interested in real estate. The cap rate is calculated depending on the value of the real estate property and the rental revenue, as the name implies. It can be used to determine whether the price of a property is justified or the selling price of a property you own.

The cap rate is the rate of return on an investment property in real estate. In other words, it specifies how much of your initial investment you will receive each year.

Consider the following scenario: you paid $100,000 for an apartment with a 10% cap rate. It means that 10% of your initial investment will be returned to you each year. As you can see, after ten years, your net cash flow will be zero, indicating that you will begin to profit from this investment in the eleventh year.

The cap rate is defined as the net operating income (NOI) ratio to the property value or sale price.

(net operating income / property value) Equals cap rate

Put another way, this ratio is a simple technique to determine the relationship between the property’s return and price. (Use our ratios calculator for additional information on ratios.)

Assume you’re a seasoned real estate investor. You can also provide extra factors in this situation, such as the vacancy rate (the proportion of time the property is vacant) and the percentage of operational expenses (such costs as insurance, utilities, and maintenance).

It’s vital to remember that operating expenditures don’t include mortgage payments, depreciation, or taxes, so net income is the money you make before debt service and taxes.

The net income can then be calculated using the following formula:

(100 – operational expenses)[percent] Equals net income * [percentage] (100 – vacancy rate) * Gross earnings

What is the formula for calculating the cap rate?

Using the preceding calculations, you may manually calculate the cap rate using our cap rate calculator. Follow these simple instructions to get started:

Begin by identifying the property’s value, which can be determined by its selling price, for example. Let’s pretend it’s $200,000 in value.

Find out how much money you make from your rental property. It simply refers to the amount of money you receive from your tenants every year. Let’s imagine the annual salary is $30,000.

Find out what the vacancy rate is. Let’s imagine the property is vacant for 2% of the time.

Decide on the percentage of operating expenses that will be covered. Let’s say you have to spend $500 per month on expenses – that’s $6000 per year, or 20% of your total revenue (you can set the value of operating expenses in the advanced mode).

To compute the net rental income, use the formula above:

$30,000 = 0.8 * 0.98 * $30,000 = $23,520 net income = (100 – 20) percent * (100 – 2) percent

Finally, to calculate the cap rate, divide the net income by the property value:

$23,520 / $200,000 = 11.76 percent cap rate

Application of the capitalization rate: selling a home

When do we have to figure out the cap rate? Consider the following scenario: you’re looking to sell your home. You’re unsure of what price you should sell it for. The only information you have is that your monthly operating income is $2,800, or $33,600 per year.

The simplest way to find out the cap rate is to ask around. This type of information is more likely to come from a commercial real estate agent. Let’s say your neighborhood’s average cap rate is 9.7 percent.

Divide the net income by the cap rate to determine the market value of your property:

$33,600 divided by 9.7% equals $33,600 divided by 0.097 is $346,392.

This finding determines the value of your home. Of course, this should just be used as a guideline; there could be other reasons for raising or lowering the selling price. Nonetheless, this is a fantastic place to start.

How do you calculate the capitalization rate of your property?

Looking at a real-world example is perhaps the best method to learn how the capitalization rate aids property valuation. Let’s imagine you’re thinking about selling your home, and after doing some research, you discover that investors are interested in buying homes like yours at a 10% capitalization rate.

A 10% cap rate indicates a ten percent profit on an investment. For example, if you invest $1,000, you will receive $100, resulting in a 10% return on investment. Putting it into a formula that is easy to remember:

$100 profit / $1,000 investment = 10% rate of return

In the context of real estate investing, this is articulated as follows:

Annual net income / property value Equals cap rate

But, imagine you have a $12,000 yearly net income on your property after collecting $1,000 monthly rents (or you discover that you might have such a net income if you rent out your house): what is the value of your investment?

You probably already know how to calculate this number, but we’ll need to rearrange the prior formula to perceive it as a mathematical expression:

Annual net income / cap rate = property value

Property value = $12,000 / 0.1 = $120,000

That means your home is valued at $120,000.

What effect does a change in net income have on a property’s value?

Now that you have a better understanding of cap rate property valuation let’s see what happens if the local real estate market changes.

Consider the following scenario: due to the growing popularity of the sharing economy and Airbnb, more tourists visit the area where your house is located. Due to the increased demand, you decide to take advantage of this business opportunity and rent out your rooms for greater rent for shorter periods. As a result, your annual total net income rises from $12,000 to $15,000.

What happens to your property’s worth in this situation?

$15,000 / 0.1 = $15,000

Your home’s estimated value has increased to $150,000.

The preceding example is very straightforward: as demand rises, prices rise. What happens, though, if the capitalization rate changes? You can also get acquainted with such a situation in the following section.

What effect does a change in cap rate have on a property’s value – the role of interest rates in cap rate

A shift in interest rates is one of the most common external factors that might affect the business climate. Let’s look at a situation where interest rates are being raised. Other investments that are more directly linked to interest rates (for example, corporate bonds) may become more appealing to investors in this situation than purchasing real estate. As a result, investors are no longer satisfied with a 10% rate of return, preferring a 12 percent cap rate on real estate investments instead.

$12,000 divided by 0.12 is $100,000.

As you can see, your home’s value decreased as interest rates rose. Why? Because investors must pay a lower price for your home to earn a better rate of return on the same amount of net income.

Let’s look at the other side of the coin: what happens if interest rates fall? In that instance, the cap rates drop as well, increasing the value of your home.

So, what’s the bottom line here? Even if rental prices are unaffected, external economic factors might influence the property’s market value via the capitalization rate.

Ratios of property valuation

When it comes to buying or selling a home, many financial statistics can help you make an informed decision. The capitalization rate is arguably the most popular, but others can also provide helpful information.

The following are the four other critical ratios, in addition to the capitalization rate:

Return on investment in terms of money (Cash ROI)

The cash return on investment, also known as the cash-on-cash return, is the ratio of remaining cash to invested capital after debt repayment. The cash-on-cash ratio and the capitalization rate is that the cash ROI is calculated after debt service, whereas the cap rate is not.

Net income after debt service / invested cash = cash-on-cash ratio

Return on investment total (Total ROI)

The total return on investment is similar to the cash-on-cash ratio, except that it represents the portion of the return that is not cash, namely the principal decrease. To put it another way, it takes into account the principal part of the loan payment. As a result, the total return on investment (ROI) is calculated as the ratio of the residual cash after debt service and principal payments to the invested capital:

(remaining cash after loan service + principal reduction) / invested cash Equals total return on investment

The debt service coverage ratio is a measure of how well a company’s (DSCR)

The debt service coverage ratio, also known as the debt service ratio, assesses the relationship between the cash available to service debt obligations (net operating income) and the required debt payment.

The debt service coverage ratio is calculated as net operating income divided by the debt payment.

The multiplier for gross rent (GRM)

The gross rent multiplier, or GRM, is a figure that represents the relationship between a property’s full purchase price and its gross scheduled income. As a result, it is the price-to-income ratio.

Purchase price/total scheduled income = gross rent multiplier

The above ratios are useful substitutes or complement the cap rate since they incorporate other financial characteristics of the property investment.

The capitalization rate’s limitations

While using capitalization rates alone or incorrectly can lead to significant flaws in your decision-making, using them alone or inappropriately can lead to severe flaws in your decision-making. As previously stated, in contrast to other debt-related ratios, the cap rate does not account for debt service. A cash-on-cash investment ratio may be a better indicator because mortgage loans are frequently used to fund home purchases.

Furthermore, there are times when the cap rate is irrelevant. For example, when your goal is a short-term property investment, the cap rate isn’t an excellent instrument to employ because these assets don’t create income from rent.

Also, as shown, the interest rate environment impacts cap rates, which can be regarded as an external element caused by the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy rather than the real estate market. Since the financial crisis of 2008, the policy rate has been at zero for several years, causing other interest rates to fall to abnormally low levels. As a result, cap rates fell, causing house prices to rise, particularly in New York and San Francisco.

When used appropriately and with an understanding of their benefits and drawbacks, cap rates can provide a quick baseline for property evaluation. Furthermore, assume you know the current interest rate environment and monetary policy direction. In such a situation, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about what cap rate to use.


What is an excellent rental property cap rate?

According to the rule of thumb, a reasonable cap rate is between 4 and 12 percent. However, the ideal place on this scale for you will determine how much danger you are willing to take. The more significant the risk, the higher the payoff, and hence the higher the cap rate, whereas the lower risk should be closer to 4%.

Is the mortgage included in the cap rate?

The cap rate excludes the mortgage, allowing you to accurately measure the return on investment on the house and assist you in finding the best offer. You’ll be able to find the levered yield if you include your mortgage.

Do interest rates affect cap rates?

Cap rates do climb in tandem with interest rates. This is because when the amount of money you can make investing in government bonds grows, it becomes a more appealing option, raising the risk of investing in something else.

What does a 7.5 percent cap rate imply?

A 7.5 cap rate means that you may expect a 7.5 percent annual gross income on the value of your property or investment. A 7.5 cap rate on a $150,000 property will result in a yearly return of $11,250.

Using this calculator and/or simulations does not indicate or represent an offer to extend terms in the manner simulated. Please fill out our loan application if you’d like to receive a personalized loan quote.

This calculator only includes basic expenses and fees; additional costs and fees may apply depending on your specific circumstances, property type, and other considerations. When making any selections, it’s always better to discuss your case with your loan officer to receive the most accurate picture possible.

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