Using Net Present Value (NPV) to Evaluate Real Estate Endeavors
Jul
22
Written by: THE CABOT GROUP
7/22/2013 8:09 AM
Submitted by S. Laraby
Identifying the best real estate investments is no easy task. There are a myriad of different measures to reach an often hypothetical valuation. Net Present Value (NPV) offers investors the best option to measure the present value of future cash flows of a project, while taking the discount rate into consideration. In real estate, the opportunity cost, or the next best investment alternative is often used.
Net Present Value Formula: The sum of the cash inflow/outflow discounted back to its present value. Embark on projects with NPV>0, reject those with NPV<0.
where R_{t}_{ }= net cash flows, i = discount rate and t = time
A Simple Example: Steve has identified a potential real estate investment. The asset will cost $1,000,000 and will require initial remodeling costs of $100,000 per year for the first three years. The investment will generate $60,000 per year in revenue. At the end of the project, he will be able to sell the asset for $1,700,000. The discount rate is 8%. Should the investor take on the project?
At a simple glance, an investor could calculate
Inflow: $1,700,000+$60,000(10)= $2,300,000
Outflow: $1,000,000+$100,000(3)= $1,100,000
Net: +$1,200,000, Take the project
Using Net Present Value, the investor reaches a different result. NPV<0, so Steve should reject the project. Due to the relatively high discount rate in this case, the opportunity cost of alternative investments, makes this a project the investor will not want to take on. He is losing money relative to what he could have made elsewhere.
Year 0: (1,000,000 100,000+60,000)/(1+.08)^0

1,040,000

Year 1: (100,000+60,000)/(1+.08)^1

37,037

Year 2: (100,000+60,000)/(1+.08)^2

34,293

Year 3: (60,000)/(1+.08)^3

47,630

Year 4: (60,000)/(1+.08)^4

44,102

Year 5: (60,000)/(1+.08)^5

40,835

Year 6: (60,000)/(1+.08)^6

37,810

Year 7: (60,000)/(1+.08)^7

35,009

Year 8: (60,000)/(1+.08)^8

32,416

Year 9: (60,000)/(1+.08)^9

30,015

Year 10: (60,000+1,700,000)/(1+.08)^10

815,221


28,292
