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As is the case with other commercial real estate types, hotels begin to depreciate from the time they open, in a process largely driven by functional obsolescence. Unlike other asset types, however, hotel values hit an inflection point at which they begin to rise again. Average annual depreciation for the 3,810 chain-affiliated hotels in this sample was within the range found in other commercial types of real estate. Depreciation rates start off relatively brisk in the first few years, because hotel owners typically do not begin renovations until around year ten. When owners do begin renovation, those expenditures slow but do not stop the decline in the typical hotel’s value. Then, around year twenty-eight, the depreciation reverses for hotels that are still in business. Not only have renovations stabilized the loss in value, but other, unknown factors promote the hotel’s value­—a phenomenon that could be called a vintage effect. Such fully depreciated properties may be located in particularly favorable sites, or they may have architectural or other features that make them attractive to investors.


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