Commercial property trounces residential for rental yields

Commercial property offers significantly higher yields than residential, though the latter is far more popular with investors, analysis by London lettings and estate agent Benham and Reeves has found.

Across the UK commercial property investment offers average annual yields of 10.7%, compared to just 3.4% for residential.

The best commercial property yields are found in Scotland (20.4%), the South West (13.7%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (12.9%), with the best residential yields being in Scotland (4.4%) and the North West (4.3%).

When it comes to the initial cost of investing, the average residential property requires a lower budget of £259,850. With an average value of £454,384, a commercial investment requires a budget 75% larger.

Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, said: “It’s fair to say that both the residential and commercial markets have been impacted by the pandemic and so it’s hard for investors to know where to put their money at present. But tough times can also bring great opportunity and with the country now reopening from both a professional and social standpoint, both sectors are set to see a return to health over the coming months.

“There are a plethora of factors to consider from your initial investment level, which sector to choose and the ongoing requirements, capital gains potential, as well as the regional disparities across these sectors in each region of the UK.

“While a commercial investment may offer a higher yield, the recovery timeline as a result of the pandemic is set to stretch on far longer than that of the residential rental market and residential property investment remains by far the dominant force where availability, affordability and total sector value is concerned.

“However, commercial investment can provide a more hands-off approach for those doing so through a third-party platform, while the amateur buy-to-let landlord is sure to spend more time sorting out tenant issues and so on.

“The best approach is a balanced portfolio and one that considers the pros and cons of each market from both a residential and commercial standpoint.”

Despite the gap between the returns offered for residential and commercial, the residential market is far bigger, with 541,966 listings versus just 12,022 across the commercial space.

The value is also higher, worth an estimated £251.5bn, while the commercial market comes in at almost £9bn in value.


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