LEASE VS. OWN
Many business owners dream of owning their own industrial or office building rather than lease space and pay rent to a third party landlord.
One should consider both the costs and benefits of commercial property ownership to understand if it’s the right financial and operational move for the individual owner (what ever form of ownership it may be) and the company occupying all or part of the property.
Potential Benefits of Ownership:
Better control of building operating expenses
Potential property value appreciation creating more personal wealth
Principal reduction on the loan via rent payments from the tenant
Tax benefits such as depreciation
An excellent marketing tool (the bldg.) demonstrating the success of an organization
May be less expensive than leasing space in today’s market
Potential Costs and Risks of Ownership:
Generally less flexibility to expand or contract space size
Requires equity up front: 10%-25% down payment
Responsible for ALL building maintenance (roofs, parking lot, HVAC, etc.)
Could lose value during a market downturn
A default on the loan may result in foreclosure by the lender
INVENTORY STORAGE? Proceed with caution.
Since 2017, days of inventory have increased for manufacturing firms nationwide, which means inventory storage has also increased. Days of Inventory in 2019 hit 59, up from 53 in 2018, and 51 in 2017. Mathematically, a decrease in the cost of sales could be causing this. COGS have actually increased slightly from 75.80% of revenue in 2017 to 75.98% in 2019. This indicates that firms have an increasing amount of inventory. Assuming this is not an over-production issue, firms are not selling as much as years prior.
This could be interpreted as a sign of economic slowdown, even before the Covid-19 storm made landfall. The increase in inventory may lead some businesses to think that they need additional space, which they may have a legitimate need for, but if the underlying reason is because of a weaker economic environment, the right course of action for the business to take might not be committing to a new long-term lease. Companies that absolutely need to move product offsite may want to explore third-party warehousing as an option. It is not as cost-effective as leasing traditional warehouse space on a per square foot basis, but allows the end-user the flexibility to change on a month-to-month time horizon.
The global health crisis has further complicated the situation. Some manufacturers now cannot keep enough stock to satisfy their customer’s needs. This may temporarily reduce the need for additional storage, even though it would be financially feasible. As with most circumstances, each should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Written by: Joseph Schultz, East Team Associate