What is a TIC Worth?

Tenants-in-common interests are passive real estate investments which are sold based on two claimed benefits: stable "cash on cash" returns and deferral of capital gains tax through 1031 exchanges. The "cash on cash" returns are found in financial projections in TIC offering documents. Using a stylized TIC cash flow projection based on our review of these materials, we show that TICs use aggressive assumptions to inflate the apparent returns to investors.

Projected cash flows must be discounted to determine whether a TIC investment is reasonably priced or not. A TIC's projected cash flows should be subject to sensitivity analysis to determine the risk of unrealistic projections. This traditional risk-return analysis, as part of a reasonable basis suitability analysis, would have determined that TICs had expected returns which were insufficient to compensate for the risk of their leveraged investments in undiversified real estate and that the claimed tax deferral benefits were small compared to the mispricing in TIC offerings.

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Craig J. McCann