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Glossary

Our glossary of industry terms is one of the most visited sections of our site. We work continually to keep it current and are always adding new terms. In addition, if you ever can't find an industry word you are looking for, let us know. We'll research it and add it for you.


  • NAREIT (National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts)

    The national, not-for-profit trade organization that represents the real estate investment trust industry.

  • NCREIF (National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries)

    An association of real estate professionals who serve on working committees, sponsor research articles, seminars and symposiums, and produce the NCREIF Property Index.

  • NCREIF Property Index (NPI)

    The index reports quarterly and annual returns consisting of income and appreciation components. The index is based on data collected from the voting members of NCREIF. Specific property-type subindices include apartment, office, retail, industrial and hotel; regional subindices include West, East, South and Midwest.

  • Negative amortization

    The accrual feature found in numerous participating debt structures that allows an investor to pay, for an initial period of time, an interest rate below the contract rate stated in loan documents.

  • Net asset value (NAV)

    The value of an individual asset or portfolio of real estate properties net of leveraging or joint venture interests.

  • Net asset value per share

    The current value of a REIT's assets divided by shares outstanding.

  • Net assets

    Total assets less total liabilities on a market-value basis.

  • Net cash flow

    Generally determined by net income plus depreciation less principal payments on long-term mortgages.

  • Net investment in real estate

    Gross investment in real estate less the outstanding debt balance.

  • Net investment income

    The income or loss of a portfolio or entity resulting after deducting all expenses, including portfolio and asset management fees, but before realized and unrealized gains and losses on investments.

  • Net operating income (NOI)

    A before-tax computation of gross revenue less operating expenses and an allowance for anticipated vacancy. It is a key indicator of financial strength.

  • Net present value (NPV)

    Net present value usually is employed to evaluate the relative merits of two or more investment alternatives. It is calculated as the sum of the total present value of incremental future cash flows plus the present value of estimated proceeds from sale. Whenever the net present value is greater than zero, an investment opportunity generally is considered to have merit.

  • Net purchase price

    Gross purchase price less associated debt financing.

  • Net real estate investment value

    The market value of all real estate less property-level debt.

  • Net returns

    Returns to investors net of fees to advisers or managers.

  • Net sales proceeds

    Proceeds from the sale of an asset or part of an asset less brokerage commissions, closing costs and market expenses.

  • Net square footage

    The space required for a function or staff position.

  • Nominal yield

    The yield to investors before adjustments for fees, inflation or risk.

  • Non-compete clause

    A clause that can be inserted into a lease specifying that the business of the tenant is exclusive in the property and that no other tenant operating the same or similar type of business can occupy space in the building. This clause benefits service-oriented businesses desiring exclusive access to the building's population.

  • Non-discretionary funds

    Funds allocated to an investment manager requiring the investor's approval on each transaction.

  • Non-investment-grade CMBS

    Securities rated "BB" or "B," also referred to as high-yield CMBS.

  • Non-performing loan

    A loan that is unable to meet its contractual principal and interest payments.

  • Non-recourse debt

    A loan that, in the event of a default by the borrower, limits the lender's remedies to a foreclosure of the mortgage, realization on its assignment of leases and rents, and acquisition of the real estate.