CRE Terms to Know: Contract Rent

The rental rates stipulated in an executed lease agreement. Typically, the contract rate is based on the first year rate as opposed to the average rate over the term of the lease. (Synonym: base rate) Learn more at

CRE Terms to Know: Construction Starts

The total number of buildings that broke ground (commenced construction) over a given period. The starts are typically measured in number of buildings and square feet. Learn more at

CRE Terms to Know: Concessions

To secure a tenant when vacancy is high in a market or submarket, a landlord may need to grant concessions in the lease. Those concessions most often take the form of free rent but may also include lease buyouts, moving allowances and above-market tenant improvement allowances. Learn more at

CRE Terms to Know: Completion

A building that has completed construction (i.e. obtained its certificate of occupancy). With a COO, the property will be considered delivered whether or not tenants have occupied the space. (Synonyms: completion; new supply) Learn more at

CRE Terms to Know: Competitive Set

A subset of total inventory that enables one to isolate and compare buildings on the basis of similar characteristics rather than simply by location. For example, a broker preparing to show available space to a tenant may identify five properties to be toured on the basis of location, square footage available, class, asking rent, parking … Read more

CRE Terms to Know: Competitive Inventory

Single-tenant and multi-tenant buildings typically consist of 10,000 square feet or more that are owned by one party and are made available for lease to another party. Owner-occupied and government-owned buildings are typically excluded from the competitive inventory. Note: It is important to note that data providers each have their own set of buildings that … Read more

CRE Terms to Know: Common Area

The generally accessible areas found on each floor of an office building such as washrooms, janitorial closets, electrical rooms, telephone rooms, mechanical rooms, elevator lobbies and public corridors that are available for use by all tenants on that floor. It does not include major vertical penetrations such as elevator shafts, stairways, equipment runs, etc., (identified … Read more

CRE Terms to Know: Commercial Mortgage-backed Securities (CMBS)

CMBS are a type of bond that is commonly issued in U.S. securities markets and is backed by the cash flow from a pool of mortgages on commercial properties. The CMBS are often arranged into groups or “tranches” according to geography, property type or underlying credit rating. Learn more at