What Is A Good Cap Rate For A Rental Property And How To Calculate It

While the potential of making extra income by renting out property is appealing, real estate is more complicated than many new investors realize. You may leave yourself open for an unpleasant discovery and a possible waste of revenue if you don’t carefully research and understand all the important metrics related to an investment.

Understanding the inside out of a property’s capitalization rate and knowing what is a good cap rate is critical to correctly determining its value, the potential risks, and overall rewards.  

What Is Capitalization Rate?

In the field of real estate, the capitalization rate, commonly referred to as cap rate, is used to express the projected rate of return on a real estate investment. This real estate metric is produced by calculating net income by asset capital value and presented as a percentage. It is dependent on the net earnings that the property is predicted to earn and is used to calculate an investor’s probable returns on their real estate investment.

While the cap rate is beneficial when it comes to determining the relative values of related property investments in the industry, it should perhaps not be utilized as the only determinant of an investment’s capacity since it ignores factors such as collateral and future earnings from property enhancements. There are no apparent cutoffs for what constitutes an adequate or poor cap rate, and they are highly dependent on the specific property and market circumstances.

What Is A Good Cap Rate?

Cap rates are used to assess a property’s risks and returns. The greater the cap rate, the more money you’ll make from the property. But, the marketplace and real threat play a role in selecting the cap rate you desire.

In a bustling central location, for example, you may anticipate a lower capitalization rate due to higher property prices. In addition, if the property is in a rapidly developing neighborhood, you may be willing to accept a lower rate in order to benefit from the potential long-term capital gains. A property in an area with low renter demand, on the other hand, has more significant risk, and you may want to hunt for a higher capitalization rate to reduce that risk. 

Proper market rentals, market prices, real estate taxes, and running expenditures all differ by neighborhood, town, and country. As a result, a good cap rate in one marketplace may be a terrible cap rate in another. 

Investors can use the capitalization rate in a variety of ways. Some investors have a minimum that they want to achieve and will avoid areas where they can’t achieve this rate; others will hunt for homes with high cap rates taking into account their relative risks and locality. 

Despite the variation due to location and property type a good cap rate is generally thought to be between 8-12%. However, as mentioned you may look for lower or higher rates depending on the location, risk, and property price. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with cap rates for comparable properties in the region to act as a possible benchmark.

How To Calculate Capitalization Rate

The cap rate formula is NOI / Market Value = Cap Rate. 

A cap rate is calculated by dividing the net operating income (NOI) by the property’s value. The actual math, on the other hand, may be a little more complicated. It’s critical to employ an accurate estimate of the property’s total income and expenses to get the most precise estimate of a property’s cap rate.

The more specific you are when calculating your cap rate, the more accurate your estimate of a property’s worth will be.

The following are the processes to follow when determining the cap rate for a rental property:

  1. First, determine your net operating income(NOI). 
    1. To do this, add up all of the associated property expenses including estimated maintenance costs, mortgage payments, utilities, taxes, insurance, and HOA fees.
    2. Subtract your total expenses from the total amount of estimated property income.
  2. Secondly, divide your net operating income(NOI) from the property’s current market value to get your cap rate.

When Should You Use A Cap Rate?

Even though a cap rate does not always give you everything you need to learn about a property before investing, it is a strong predictor of the return you can anticipate. A cap rate might also be beneficial for identifying trends and patterns. Collect the data on property cap rates in a particular location over the past several years and construct a market analysis that shows how real estate success has changed over time.

As a property investor, you have to be an expert in the marketplace, and knowing recent and future cap rates are essential to your success. If cap rates have been steadily increasing in previous years, you may anticipate them to keep rising and give you a higher return on investment throughout the period.


There are just too many factors that influence what makes a good cap rate such as different property types, investment strategies, and property location to provide a one-size-fits-all response to the question, “what is a good cap rate?” However, knowing the cap rate formula, and being able to analyze what is a good cap rate under these various conditions can assist you in making better property investment choices and ensure its long-term profitability.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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