Choosing the Right Path in Real Estate Investing: Residential vs. Commercial

Choosing the Right Path in Real Estate Investing: Residential vs. Commercial

When it comes to investing in real estate, a recurring debate is whether to invest in residential or commercial properties. Both avenues have their advantages, but the essential question is: which asset will provide a greater net income? Alternatively, how can you build a real estate portfolio that can eventually support your retirement?


Starting with Residential Property

Many experts suggest that residential property is a good starting point for new investors. The reasons are straightforward:


  • Lower Entry Costs: Residential properties typically require less equity or cash to purchase compared to commercial properties.
  • Abundance of Options: There are more residential properties available on the market.
  • High Tenant Demand: There is a larger pool of residential tenants compared to commercial tenants.


Why Consider Commercial Property?

Commercial property is often overlooked, sometimes perceived as an option only for wealthier investors. However, it can be a viable path to financial growth if you conduct thorough research and consult with the right commercial specialists. Here’s why you should consider commercial property:


  • Longer Lease Terms: Commercial leases usually range from 3-5 years, providing more stability.
  • Annual Rent Increases: Typically, commercial leases include annual rent increases of 3-5%.
  • Higher Annual Rents: Commercial properties often command higher rents than residential properties.
  • Higher Returns: The return on investment for commercial properties can be significantly higher.
  • Tenant Responsibilities: Tenants in commercial properties often cover building outgoings and management fees (though this can vary with retail properties).


Investment Strategies and Options

  • Superannuation Investments: You can purchase commercial properties through your superannuation. This requires advice from your financial planner or accountant.
  • Property Syndicates: Investing in property syndicates allows you to own a share of larger commercial properties like shopping centres, office buildings, and large retail formats.


Types of Commercial Property

Understanding the different categories within commercial real estate is crucial:


  • Commercial: Includes office spaces and medical facilities.
  • Retail: Encompasses shops, larger retail formats, and shopping centres.
  • Industrial: Covers industrial units such as factories, manufacturing plants, and warehouses.
  • Land: Focuses on properties for development or re-zoning.



While this is just a brief overview of the benefits of commercial property investment, it’s clear that this option should not be dismissed. Investing in commercial real estate might just be the key to achieving financial freedom and securing a stable income for the future. Consulting with specialists and doing thorough research can help you navigate this complex but rewarding market.