Commercial property

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The term commercial property (also called investment or income property) refers to buildings or land intended to generate a profit, either from capital gain or rental income.[1]

Definition[edit]

Commercial property includes office buildings, industrial property, medical centers, hotels, malls, retail stores, farm land, multifamily housing buildings, warehouses, and garages. In many states, residential property containing more than a certain number of units qualifies as commercial property for borrowing and tax purposes.

Types of commercial property[edit]

Commercial real estate is commonly divided into six categories:

1. Office Buildings – This category includes single‐tenant properties, small professional office buildings, downtown skyscrapers, and everything in between.

2. Industrial – This category ranges from smaller properties, often called “Flex” or “R&D” properties, to larger office service or office warehouse properties to the very large “big box” industrial properties. An important, defining characteristic of industrial space is Clear Height. Clear height is the actual height, to the bottom of the steel girders in the interior of the building. This might be 14‐16 feet for smaller properties, and 40+ feet for larger properties. We also consider the type and number of docks that the property has. These can be Grade Level, where the parking lot and the warehouse floor are on the same level, to Semi‐dock height at 24 inches, which is the height of a pickup truck or delivery truck, or a Full‐dock at 48 inches which is semi‐truck height. Some buildings may even have a Rail Spur for train cars to load and unload.

3. Retail/Restaurant – This category includes pad sites on highway frontages, single tenant retail buildings, small neighborhood shopping centers, larger centers with grocery store anchor tenants, “power centers” with large anchor stores such as Best Buy, PetSmart, OfficeMax, and so on even regional and outlet malls.

4. Multifamily – This category includes apartment complexes or high‐rise apartment buildings. Generally, a fourplex or more is considered commercial real estate.

5. Land – This category includes investment properties on undeveloped, raw, rural land in the path of future development. Or, infill land with an urban area, pad sites, and more.

6. Miscellaneous – This catch all category would include any other nonresidential properties such as hotel, hospitality, medical, and self‐storage developments, as well as many more. [4]


Categories of Commercial Real Estate
Category Examples
Leisure hotels, public houses, restaurants, cafes, sports facilities
Retail retail stores, shopping malls, shops
Office office buildings, serviced offices
Industrial industrial property, office/warehouses, garages, distribution centers
Healthcare medical centres, hospitals, nursing homes
Multifamily (apartments) multifamily housing buildings

Of these, only the first five are classified as being commercial buildings. Residential income property may also signify multifamily apartments.

Additional commercial property information[edit]

–Elements of an Investment in Commercial Property

The basic elements of an investment are cash inflows, outflows, timing of cash flows, and risk. Your ability to analyze these elements is key in providing services to investors in commercial real estate.

Cash inflows and outflows are the money that is put into, or received from, the property including the original purchase cost and sale revenue over the entire life of the investment.

Cash inflows include the following: • Rent • Operating Expense Recoveries • Fees: Parking, Vending, Services, etc. • Proceeds from Sale • Tax Benefits • Depreciation • Tax Credits (e.g., historical)

Cash outflows include: • Initial Investment (down payment) • All Operating Expenses and Taxes • Debt Service (mortgage payment) • Capital Expenses and Tenant Leasing Costs • Costs upon Sale

The timing of cash inflows and outflows is important to know in order to project periods of positive and negative cash flows. Risk is dependent on market conditions, current tenants, and the likelihood that they will renew their leases year‐over‐year. You need to be able to predict the probability that the cash inflows and outflows will be in the amounts predicted, what is the probability that the timing of them will be as predicted, and what the probability is that there may be unexpected cash flows, and in what amounts they might occur. [2]

The total value of commercial property in the United States was approximately $11 trillion in 2009, as measured by the CoStar Group and published in the Journal of Real Estate Management.[3]

According to Real Capital Analytics, a New York real estate research firm, more than $160 billion of commercial properties in the United States are now in default, foreclosure, or bankruptcy. In Europe, approximately half of the €960 billion of debt backed by European commercial real estate is expected to require refinancing in the next three years, according to PropertyMall, a UK‑based commercial property news provider PropertyMall. Additionally, the economic conditions surrounding future interest rate hikes; which could put renewed pressure on valuations, complicate loan refinancing, and impede debt servicing could cause major dislocation in commercial real estate markets.[4]

However, the contribution ploughed into Europe's economy in 2012 can be estimated at around €285 billion according to EPRA and INREV,[5] not to mention social benefits of an efficient real estate sector. It is estimated that commercial property is responsible for securing around 4 million jobs across Europe.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Maliene, V., Deveikis, S., Kirsten, L. and Malys, N. (2010). "Commercial Leisure Property Valuation: A Comparison of the Case Studies in UK and Lithuania". International Journal of Strategic Property Management 14 (1): 35–48. doi:10.3846/ijspm.2010.04. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Investopedia Definition
  2. ^ Christopher Shearer Lynchburg VA
  3. ^ Florance, Andrew. "Slicing, Dicing, and Scoping the Size of the". Journal of Real Estate Management. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 
  4. ^ Russell, Elias (2014). "Commercial Real Estate Refinance". 
  5. ^ Gareth, Lewis (2012). Real estate in the real economy. 

External links[edit]