Purchasing commercial real estate is a major decision. This is not only a large investment, but it is also a long-term investment; an investor or potential investor must carefully assess the benefits and drawbacks. Choosing the correct property and executing a good strategy, according to commercial property agents in London, is all about investing in commercial property. If you’ve been considering getting on the commercial real estate investing bandwagon, you should think twice. 

Commercial property is appealing to investors because it has the ability to provide strong capital growth, a consistent monthly income, and better security than equities and shares. Leases on commercial properties in the United Kingdom are longer than those in the United States and the European Union, and they are also longer than leases on UK residential properties. The typical length of a lease for an office is eight years, which indicates a very consistent income for a long time. As a result of changes in tax legislation that have harmed residential buy-to-let landlords, the property market has recently shifted toward commercial property investment. Here are the seven fundamentals of commercial real estate investing that newcomers should master.

1. Do you want to invest for the long or short term?

Consider your timeframe before investing in a commercial property. Think if you are willing to wait for the ideal chance by watching the market for a property that will provide you with the best return on your investment. Also consider the following:

Do you already know what you’re searching for, where you want to put it, and how you’ll pay for it?

Are you prepared to invest right away since you’ve spotted a business opportunity?

Are you looking for a quick return on your investment?

The type of property you invest in and how you fund your investment will be influenced by the timeframe of the investment you seek.

2. Should you choose retail, office, or industrial property?

The sort of commercial property you choose will be influenced by your personal expertise and understanding. Maybe you’ve worked in a shop or an office before. Maybe you’ve worked in a specific industry and know what kind of space these companies want to rent. Maybe you’ve discovered a void in the market for a specific type of property. You may have noticed an opportunity such as a new office building development in a growing town with strong transportation links, or an economical industrial unit outside of town managed by a management company.

3. Should you lease or purchase?

When you buy a commercial property, and you’ve paid off any loans, you own it outright. You can take out a lease to rent a property from an owner for a short or lengthy period of time. If you want to buy the property in the future, you might be able to get a lease-to-own plan.

The advantages of owning a property include your property’s worth expected to rise over time, resulting in a profit. If you need money for your firm, you can use the equity as collateral. The property can be rented out to tenants, and you can also enjoy benefits from taxation. Commercial property comes with tax advantages, and you have greater freedom to customise the place than you would if you were renting.

4. Where should you invest your money?

You may decide to invest in a commercial property in a given area because it is close to where you live or work, or because it is the hub of a sort of business that you are familiar with, allowing you to estimate the likelihood of your investment’s success. If you want to make a small short-term investment, consider moving to a lower cost-of-living area where you can discover commercial property for a reasonable price. Whatever you choose, keep in mind that location is crucial to a successful investment.

5. Financing options for your investment

You don’t have to be affluent to invest in commercial real estate, and there are a variety of possibilities. With Direct Investment, you can purchase a whole property or a portion of one. A direct or ‘bricks-and-mortar’ fund is one that is not controlled by a third party. Small investors can invest in commercial real estate using this form of fund. A collective investment scheme, such as an Oeic, an investment trust, or a unit trust, is used to invest. The trust invests in a commercial property portfolio that spreads risk across a variety of property types and regions.

You can also use Property investment trust (IPT), where you can purchase stock in a business that owns a commercial real estate portfolio. This could be a publicly traded homebuilder or a real estate investment trust that is significantly invested in real estate (REIT). REITs own and manage large commercial property portfolios and are managed by property managers that buy, manage, and sell the buildings. Dividends are paid to shareholders from the income earned by rental yield. Property shares can move up or down in value because they are purchased on the stock market.

6. Strength of the lease covenant

The quality of the commercial tenant determines the strength of the lease (‘covenant strength’), which has a significant impact on investment value. A reliable tenant is more likely to stick to their lease terms and pay their rent on time. If a tenant’s credit rating drops throughout the lease term, it impacts not just the investor’s income but also the property’s future investment value, therefore it’s crucial to do your homework on a possible tenant before signing a lease agreement.

7. Market performance

Industrial space has been in high demand in recent years, but it’s difficult to say whether Brexit-related restrictions on EU market access would have a detrimental impact. Despite the uncertainties, industrial properties continue to sell for a reasonable price. Studies suggest that hotels, industrial real estate, and student residential properties will likely produce the best investment prospects in the coming years.

Rachel Sterry