Originally posted 3/5/2018
Swope Investment Properties regularly sends out a newsletter that includes good articles and listing information. In the most recent article, realtor Eric Uhlenhoff shared his perspective to rising prices.
Finding Value Despite Shrinking Margins
In Shane's article in the Nov 17 newsletter, he described the buyer challenges in
the current market. Not much has changed since then, but we are seeing a bit more
inventory in the residential income space. Yes, margins and cap rates continue to
decline, and we've seen some rising interest rates too, which isn't helping our
Buyers! So, is this another bubble or what?
Back in 2007, when evaluating income properties in the Treasure Valley, using a
sensible downpayment, finding a property with a positive cashflow was like
searching for unicorns. Rents didn't support the values and yet many
buyers willingly accepted negative cashflow in hopes of feasting upon rising prices in
the future. However, in today's market, we're still seeing discerning buyers insist on
cash-on-cash returns. And of course financing with nothing down is not a thing
the way it was back in 2007, so fundamentally, this market is way different
So, where's the value for a buyer? Well, several things haven't changed. Financing
a residential income property (4 units or less) can still be done on a 30-year fixed
loan (thumbs up!) and the tax laws governing depreciation and other tax benefits
are all still in place and may have gotten better depending on individual
circumstances (two thumbs up!).
No question, the sale prices have come up, but so too have the rents. Consider
also that overall vacancy rates are historically low and with rising interest rates this
is likely to keep that vacancy low. All these changing conditions should force
change in our analysis and in this market, we should always take a solid look at
the achievable rents when doing your evaluation as many sellers are not keeping up
with the market.
Continuing to look at cash-on-cash returns and/or cap rate is still okay (and
important!). However, in this market, add in the principle pay-down and the tax
benefits, and compare these combined returns against the risks associated with a
very high stock market and rising inflation. This is both smart and necessary.
My crystal ball is far from clear when looking out beyond what I am having for
lunch. Real estate investing should be for the long term and when time permits,
allow the Swope Team to help analyze and advise a strategy... cuz there's value out
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