Most Australians are familiar with investing in real estate and understand the value that a property portfolio can create over time.
However, few property investors venture outside the world of residential property and consider commercial property. While commercial property is a little more difficult to understand than residential, it offers several significant advantages for investors.
Most commercial properties have far higher yields than residential properties. It’s not uncommon to see 7-10% yields on commercial properties, which is something that few residential properties can generate. The benefit of high yields is that your asset is contributing to your cash flow every month. Most residential properties are negatively geared investments.
Generally, the tenant of a commercial property pays all the outgoing costs associated with the property. That includes maintenance, rates and any strata fees. That means that the rent you receive each month is net of costs and the only real expense that you need to consider is property management fees. All leases are different, so it is important to get the lease reviewed prior to purchasing a commercial property.
One of the big appeals of commercial properties is that they have long-term leases. It’s not uncommon to seecommercial properties leased out to the same tenant for many decades. The reason for this is simple; it is the place of business, and the location is often a vital component of a business. However, the flip side of a long lease is that it can take longer to attract a new tenant in the event the business decides to end the lease.
Commercial properties are priced a little differently from residential properties, in that the price is based on a multiple of the lease price. This can make commercial properties a little harder to understand for many new investors. The important thing to understand is that lease increases are generally incorporated into the lease. What this means is that each year the lease will increase in line with either inflation or the broader market.
Many people believe residential property is superior to commercial because of the ability to improve a property and add value to it. However, this is equally true of commercial property. As mentioned, the value of the property is tied to how much that property leases for. Anything you’re able to do to increase that lease will mean a higher property value. Things like renovations and subdivisions are quite feasible with commercial properties.
Ultimately, whether to invest in commercial or residential isn’t mutually exclusive. A balanced property portfolio should contain a combination of both residential and commercial, and the mix will depend on where you are in your investment journey and what your financial goals are.