Commercial property

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Commercial properties are properties that are wholly or predominantly used for commercial , self-employed or freelance self-employed purposes.


The compound "commercial property" expresses that it is a property that is mainly used for commercial purposes. A commercial purpose already exists if the use is in the context of commercial activity. The core of commercial activity is the intention to make a profit , which is to be assumed in the case of corporate real estate. Use for public purposes ( authorities or public companies ) also serves as commercial . Commercial activity can also be assumed for natural persons who are self-employed or in free professions.


For evaluation purposes, the defined BewG commercial properties to § 181 para. 6 BewG as "land, which is more than 80 per cent under the living area serve their own or other operational or public purposes and are not part of the property." Fractional ownership belongs to § 181 para. 1 no. 3 BewG in conjunction with para. 5 BewG also for commercial use. Commercial properties include, in particular, medical practices , law firms , shops of all kinds, supermarkets , shopping centers , warehouses , industrial properties , business parks , industrial parks , technology parks , administration buildings , office buildings , business centers , hotels , hospitals and sanatoriums .

These types can be divided into six different broad categories: production real estate , leisure real estate , logistics facilities , office buildings , retail properties and special properties. Production properties are characterized by a particularly high degree of flexibility in the area of ​​expansion and third-party use. Examples of production properties are distribution centers, cold stores and storage halls. Shopping centers, supermarkets and shops are among the retail properties . The return that is achieved here always depends on the sales of the dealers and the location. Logistics properties are mostly located at traffic hubs in the vicinity of production companies and are used as a supplier, material and warehouse. The area of leisure real estate is comparatively risky, as trends in the industry are mostly short-lived and success largely depends on the operator. Special properties form a special area because they have a wide variety of uses. These include for example stations , truck stops or Greater discos .


The construction , acquisition , which renovation and redevelopment of commercial property can by equity of the investor or in part by investment loans by financial institutions ( banks , Private banks , savings banks , cooperative banks or mortgage banks ) or life insurance funds are. The commercial properties are usually the object of loan . In accordance with Section 12 (1) of the Pfandbrief Act (PfandBG), they can then serve as cover for mortgage Pfandbriefe . As mortgage to be entered mortgage or mortgages may in accordance with § 13 para. 1 PfandBG only on land , land rights or such rights of a foreign legal system overload, the German the land rights law are comparable. The encumbered properties must be located in a member state of the European Union or another signatory to the Agreement on the European Economic Area , in Switzerland , in the United States of America , in Canada , in Japan , in Australia , in New Zealand or in Singapore .

According to Art. 126 No. 2d Capital Adequacy Ordinance (English abbreviation CRR) commercial real estate can be lent by credit institutions up to 60% of the mortgage lending value or 50% of the market value . Art. 125 No. 2b CRR then stipulates that the value of the property must not correlate significantly with the creditworthiness of the borrower and that the creditworthiness of the borrower must not correlate positively with the performance of the underlying property . This includes industrial land used by the borrower himself, the values ​​of which depend significantly on the income he achieves through the use of the commercial property (e.g. for factory buildings). The focus of external financiers is particularly focused on core properties , which are fully or almost fully rented prime properties in a prime location with a good tenant structure and credit rating. In this narrow, apparently low-risk market segment, many real estate investors are pushing their way into reacting to the financial crisis from 2007 onwards, acting more carefully and wanting to reduce their risks.

economic aspects

From an economic point of view, the profitability of commercial properties is important, and the rental yield of rented properties . In addition to the interest expense for the external financing component , the management costs must also be taken into account in the calculation; In addition, the rental income and depreciation must be included for rented properties :

The overall profitability of commercial properties is therefore influenced by the level of interest rates , management costs and the gross cash flow resulting from the use of the property . This applies to income-generating commercial real estate (e.g. office buildings, shops, multi-family houses, industrial and storage areas built for rental purposes). With this type of financing, the repayment of the loan depends primarily on the income generated from the property . The main source of this is rental or leasing income. The rental risk that has to be taken into account when determining the profitability of rented commercial properties consists in particular of the risk of vacancy or the risk of rent default for tenants.

The rent achieved by a commercial property is appropriate within the meaning of Section 14 (2) sentence 3 GroMiKV if the rent reaches or exceeds the amount necessary for debt servicing and to cover management costs within the meaning of Section 11 Mortgage Lending Value Ordinance (BelWertV). In the case of commercial property used by the owner, the requirements of Section 14 (2) sentence 3 GroMiKV apply if the commercial property can be used by third parties and the net income ( Section 9 BelWertV) or a value determined taking into account the requirements of Section 9 BelWertV reaches or exceeds the amount necessary for debt servicing.

Commercial real estate is generally not very fungible because there are very few buyers are usually the objects are often single-sided use little or standardized so that a recovery may be in normal times difficult. The location of many commercial properties can also prove to be an obstacle to exploitation. In these cases, there is limited or no third party use of specifically aligned objects. The third-party usability of a commercial property is to be denied if it is foreseeable that considerable renovations are required for another use , which are economically equivalent to a new building or if its nature or its special location does not permit third-party use. In the case of commercial real estate loans, it is therefore necessary that, as a rule, only office space and multi-purpose business premises that meet the requirement for third-party use are to be lent . A property used for commercial purposes can be used by third parties if it can be used by a third party in the existing state of construction without further measures. The current marketability is independent of this.


As part of the property valuation , differences between yield residential properties and commercial properties. While owner-occupied residential properties are usually valued according to the real value method, the valuation of commercial properties and rental residential properties is usually based on the capitalized earnings method .

Tax aspects

The commercial property must be distinguished from residential property and special property in terms of its treatment in tax law ( sales tax , depreciation ), in the area of financing and in building law . By its nature, however, a property can serve both residential and commercial purposes (e.g. holiday apartment , office, loft, studio, farm ) and then belongs to the mixed-use properties.

Legal regulations in Germany


The taxation within the framework of property tax in Germany differentiates according to the use and defines different property tax indicators for residential and commercial properties. In connection with the reform of corporate taxes, the introduction of a "property tax C" (for commercial real estate) as a partial replacement of the business tax was discussed.

Tenancy law

In Germany, lease agreements in accordance with Sections 535 ff. Of the German Civil Code (BGB) for commercial premises or commercial real estate allow extensive freedom of contract , unlike residential premises or residential real estate . For example, there is no statutory tenant protection and no statutory rent brake .

Commercial real estate market

Commercial properties compete on both the tenant and investor side in regional, national and international markets. The markets for commercial real estate are more dynamic than the markets for residential real estate, among other things due to the lower contractual ties and the greater economic sensitivity of tenants.


  • Kai-Jochen Neuhaus: Handbook of business space rental - Law Practice Administration , Luchterhand, 4th edition 2011, 1572 pages with CD-ROM, ISBN 978-3-472-07998-9
  • Gerber / Eckert: Commercial tenancy and lease law , RWS Verlag, 8th edition, Cologne 2012, ISBN 978-3-8145-7268-0

Individual evidence

  1. Jens Kielkopf: Market Analysis Logistics Real Estate , 2007, Books on Demand
  2. BaFin : Insurers: Real estate loans and real economic investments are becoming more attractive , from May 23, 2012.
  3. Rolf Hüpen: Wirtschaftslehre between Model and Reality , 1998, p. 184 ff.
  4. Jürgen Lindauer: Real Estate and Taxes , 2010, p. 53.
  5. Deutsche Bundesbank : Expert committee for real loan security techniques ( Memento of the original dated February 3, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. Real estate industry mutinies against new "special sacrifice" on
  7. Kurt Maier: Risk Management in Real Estate and Finance , Knapp, 2004