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The Benefits of Investing in Commercial Real Estate vs. Residential in 2023

In 2023, investing in commercial real estate offers advantages over residential properties, including higher income potential, lower vacancy risk, and longer lease terms. Commercial tenants, often businesses, maintain professional relationships with landlords, leading to better property care and lease compliance. Additionally, commercial real estate provides inflation hedging, tax benefits, and stable cash flow through multiple tenants and triple net leases where tenants cover property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs.


Higher Income Potential

One of the primary benefits of investing in commercial real estate is the potential for higher income. Commercial properties generally have a higher rental yield compared to residential properties, often ranging from 6% to 12%, while residential properties typically range from 1% to 4%. This significant difference in returns can be attributed to factors like longer lease terms, lower vacancy rates, and the ability to pass on certain expenses to the tenants.

Lower Vacancy Risk

Commercial properties often have multiple tenants, which means that even if one tenant vacates the property, the owner still has income coming in from the remaining tenants. In contrast, when a residential property is vacant, the owner loses 100% of their rental income until a new tenant is found. This diversification helps mitigate the risk of vacancies and provides a more stable cash flow.

Triple Net Leases

A triple net lease is a common type of lease structure in commercial real estate, where the tenant is responsible for paying property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs in addition to the base rent. This arrangement can significantly reduce the landlord's expenses and increase their net income. In contrast, residential landlords are generally responsible for these expenses, which can eat into their profits.

Longer Lease Terms

Commercial leases tend to have longer terms than residential leases, often ranging from 3 to 10 years. This provides a more stable and predictable income stream for the property owner, as well as reduced turnover costs. Residential leases are typically shorter, usually around 12 months, leading to higher tenant turnover and the associated costs of marketing, screening, and preparing the property for new tenants.

Professional Relationships

Commercial tenants are often businesses with a vested interest in maintaining a professional appearance and relationship with their landlord. This can result in more reliable tenants who take better care of the property and are more likely to comply with lease terms. Residential tenants, on the other hand, may not have the same level of professionalism and can sometimes be more challenging to manage.

Inflation Hedge

Commercial real estate has historically been an effective hedge against inflation. As the cost of living increases, so do rental rates, which can help protect the property owner's income stream from being eroded by inflation. Additionally, many commercial leases include escalation clauses that tie rent increases to inflation, further insulating the investor from the negative effects of rising prices.

Tax Benefits

Investing in commercial real estate also comes with several tax advantages, such as depreciation deductions, which allow investors to offset a portion of their rental income and reduce their overall tax liability. While residential properties also offer depreciation benefits, they are often less significant due to the shorter useful life of residential buildings.

In conclusion, while both commercial and residential real estate investments have their merits, commercial properties offer several distinct advantages, including higher income potential, lower vacancy risk, and longer lease terms. As we enter 2023, it might be the perfect time for investors to consider diversifying their portfolios and exploring the benefits of commercial real estate.

All information provided has been obtained from sources deemed reliable.  However, neither Victory Real Estate Group nor any of its brokers, agents, employees, officers, directors or affiliated companies (collectively, Victory Real Estate Group and Related Parties) have made an independent investigation of the Information or the Information sources, and no warranty or representation is made by Victory Real Estate Group and Related Parties as to the accuracy of such Information. The Information is submitted subject to the possible errors or omissions, and no person or organization should rely on the Information, unless such person or organization has conducted and independent investigation to confirm the accuracy thereof.

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Ela Valenzuela
Partner Editor Victory
April 4, 2024

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