Discounted Cash Flow Method

Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Analysis

DCF is a fundamental valuation technique where future cash flows are estimated and then discounted back to present value using a predetermined discount rate. This method is particularly useful for real estate investments as it considers the asset's future income potential, including rental incomes and eventual sale price, providing a comprehensive view of its profitability over time.

Example: Consider a rental property expected to generate $50,000 annually in rental income, with a projected increase of 2% per year over a 10-year period. Assuming a discount rate of 5%, the DCF analysis calculates the present value of those future cash flows to determine the property's value today.


  • Future-focused: DCF considers the property's income potential over time, making it ideal for long-term investments.

  • Comprehensive: It accounts for various factors like rental income growth and property value appreciation.


  • Complexity: Requires assumptions about future cash flows, growth rates, and discount rates, which can be speculative.

  • Sensitive to Inputs: Small changes in assumptions can significantly affect the valuation outcome.

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