Debt Yield in Commercial Property Loans


Debt yield is a crucial measure of risk for commercial mortgage lenders when evaluating commercial property loans. 

It takes into account the net operating income (NOI) of a property to assess how quickly the lender could recover their funds in the event of default. 

By focusing on debt yield, lenders can better understand the risk associated with a loan, especially when obscured by low interest rates or lengthy amortization terms.

Key Takeaways:

  • Debt yield is a measure of risk for commercial mortgage lenders, using the NOI of a property to determine the speed of potential fund recovery in case of default.
  • It provides a consistent and static measure of loan risk, unlike other ratios such as debt-service coverage ratio (DSCR), loan-to-value ratio (LTV), and cap rates.
  • Debt yield is calculated by dividing the NOI by the loan amount, resulting in a debt yield percentage.

How it Works:

To calculate debt yield, the NOI of a commercial property is divided by the loan amount, giving the debt yield percentage. For example, a property with a NOI of $500,000 requesting a loan of $5 million would have a debt yield of 10%.

Most lenders typically accept a debt yield of at least 10%, although some may consider going as low as 8.0% for Class A properties in major MSAs or gateway markets. 

Conversely, to determine the maximum loan amount a lender accepting a debt yield of 10% could offer, the NOI is divided by the debt yield percentage, resulting in a maximum loan amount of $5 million in the given example.

Key Components:

  • Debt Yield: This metric is a measure of risk that considers the NOI of a commercial property in relation to the loan amount, providing lenders with insight into fund recovery potential in case of default.


  • Risk Assessment: Debt yield offers lenders a reliable metric for evaluating loan risk, as it remains consistent and unaffected by changing market conditions or property valuations.
  • Consideration of Net Operating Income: By incorporating the NOI, lenders gain a better understanding of a property’s cash flow and its ability to generate income for loan repayment.
  • Complementary to Other Metrics: While other metrics such as DSCR, LTV, and cap rates have their uses, debt yield provides an additional dimension to assessing loan risk, especially in the commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) sector.


Debt yield plays a vital role in commercial property loans, allowing lenders to gauge the risk associated with a loan by considering the property’s NOI. It offers a consistent and reliable measure, complementing other metrics and aiding in risk assessment. 

While debt yield is an essential factor, it’s crucial to stay informed about current commercial mortgage rates and work with experienced professionals to make informed decisions regarding loan options.

As the commercial real estate financing landscape evolves, understanding and considering debt yield will continue to be imperative for successful loan transactions.

Disclaimer: The information on this website, including glossary definitions, is for educational and informational purposes only and not intended as professional advice. While we strive for accuracy, we make no guarantees regarding the completeness, reliability, or timeliness of the information provided. We are not liable for any loss or damage arising from your use of the site. Investment decisions in commercial real estate should be made based on individual due diligence and professional advice. Laws and regulations are subject to change; always consult legal and financial experts before making decisions.



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