Commercial Real Estate Terms – S


Sale-Leaseback: An arrangement by which the owner-occupant of a property agrees to sell all or part of the property to an investor, then lease it back and continue to occupy space as a tenant

Sales Comparison Value:
A value indication derived by comparing the property being appraised to similar properties that have been sold recently

Second-Generation or Secondary Space and SubLease: Previously occupied space that becomes available for lease, either directly from the landlord or as sublease space

Secondary Financing:
A loan on real property secured by a lien junior to an existing first mortgage loan

Secondary Market
: A market where existing mortgage loans are securitized and then bought and sold to other investors

Secondary or Follow-on Offering: A stock offering made by an existing public company.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): The federal agency that supervises and oversees the issuance and exchange of public securities

Securitization: The process of converting an illiquid asset, such as a mortgage loan, into a tradable form, such as mortgage-backed securities

Security Deposit: A deposit of money by a tenant to a landlord to secure performance of a lease. It also can take the form of a letter of credit or other financial instrument. Residential Security Deposits regulated by state law.

Seisen (seizen):
Possession of real property under claim of freehold estate

Self-Administered REIT:
When members of the management are employees of the REIT or an entity having essentially the same economic ownership as the REIT

Self-Managed REIT: A REIT whose employees are responsible for performing property management functions

Senior Classes:
With regard to securities, describes the classes with the highest priority to receive the payments from the underlying mortgage loans

Separate Account:
A relationship where an investment manager or adviser is retained by a single pension plan sponsor to source real estate product under a stated investment policy exclusively for that sponsor

Servicer: An organization that acts on behalf of a trustee for the benefit of security holders

Setback: The distance from a curb, property line or other reference point, within which building is prohibited

Shares Outstanding
: The number of shares of common stock currently outstanding, less the shares held in treasury

Site Analysis:
Determines the suitability of a specific parcel of land for a specific use

Site Development: The installation of all necessary improvements made to a site before a building or project can be constructed on the site

Site Plan:
A detailed plan that depicts the location of improvements on a parcel

Slab: The exposed wearing surface laid over the structural support beams of a building to form the floor(s) of the building. No crawl-space nor basement.

Social Investing:
Investments driven in whole or in part by social or political (non-real estate) objectives. Under ERISA, social investing is economically justified only if proper real estate fundamentals are considered first.

Soft Cost:
The portion of an equity investment other than the actual cost of the improvements themselves that may be tax-deductible in the first year

Space Plan
: A graphic representation of a tenant’s space requirements, showing wall and door locations, room sizes and sometimes furniture layouts

Special Assessment:
Special charges levied against real property for public improvements that benefit the assessed property

Special Servicer: A firm that is employed to work out mortgages that are either delinquent or in default

Specified Investing: Investment in individually specified properties or portfolios, or investment in commingled funds whose real estate assets are fully or partially specified prior to the commitment of investor capital

Speculative Space:
Any tenant space that has not been leased before the start of construction on a new building

Stabilized Net Operating Income: Projected income less expenses that are subject to change but have been adjusted to reflect equivalent, stable property operations

Stabilized Occupancy: The optimum range of long-term occupancy that an income-producing real estate project is expected to achieve after exposure for leasing in the open market for a reasonable period of time at terms and conditions comparable to competitive offerings

Step-up Lease (graded lease): A lease specifying set increases in rent at set intervals during the term of the lease

Straight Lease (flat lease)
: A lease specifying a fixed amount of rent that is to be paid periodically, typically monthly, during the entire term of the lease

Strip Center: Any shopping area comprised of a row of stores but smaller than a neighborhood center anchored by a grocery store

Subcontractor: A contractor working under and being paid by the general contractor, often a specialist in nature, such as an electrical contractor, cement contractor, etc.

Sublessee: A person or identity to whom the rights of use and occupancy under a lease have been conveyed, while the original lessee retains primary responsibility for the obligations of the lease

Subordinated Classes: With regard to CMBS, describes those classes with the lowest priority to receive payments from the underlying mortgage loans

Subordination: The process of sharing the risk of credit losses disproportionately among two or more classes of securities

Surety: One who voluntarily binds himself to be obligated for the debt or obligation of another

Surface Rights: A right or easement granted with mineral rights, enabling the possessor of the mineral rights to drill or mine through the surface

The process by which a parcel is measured and its boundaries and contents ascertained

Synthetic Lease: A transaction that appears as a lease from an accounting standpoint but as a loan from a tax standpoint

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