Faculty Publications


Commercial real estate finance and the lending cap rate

Document Type



Appraisal, Commercial real estate, Debt service coverage ratio, Lending cap rate, Loan-to-value ratio, Underwriting

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Property Investment and Finance


Purpose: The aim of this study is to report on a simple derivation that results in what the authors refer to as the lending cap rate. The lending cap rate is a unique cap rate resulting in a property valuation that perfectly aligns the maximum loan amount for the financing of commercial real estate. Design/methodology/approach: The derivation is the result of simple algebra relating the two most common underwriting ratios: debt service coverage and loan-to-value with the formula for the present value of an annuity. Numerical examples are presented to demonstrate the calculation of the lending cap rate, property valuation and maximum loan amount. The authors also present comparative statics results. Findings: The main finding of this research is that once a lender knows the debt service coverage ratio, loan-to-value ratio and lending terms for a specific property financing request, a simple calculation reveals the lending cap rate and the property valuation that aligns the maximum loan amount implied by the two underwriting ratios. Practical implications: One practical implication of the research is that a simple calculation reveals the lending cap rate which facilitates timely property evaluations for lending purposes. The methods demonstrated also offer real estate finance educators a practical means of connecting the loan underwriting process with property appraisal thereby facilitating conceptual understanding. Originality/value: The key finding is original, and the importance of the finding is that the determination of the lending cap rate is simple and has the ability to make commercial real estate lending faster and cheaper, especially in lending situations where an evaluation rather than an appraisal is appropriate.


Department of Finance

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version