What is the difference between an unlisted fund and a listed fund?
Listed funds are listed or quoted on the ASX (or other exchange) and issue investors with securities (which are just like shares) that can be traded at any time through a stock broker. Unlisted funds (including unlisted property funds or property syndicates) issue you with units (as they are a managed fund). Unlisted Fund Units are not quoted on any exchange and cannot be traded at any time. They are normally held for the duration of the investment (e.g. 5, 7 or 10 years).
As listed funds are traded on the stock market on a daily basis, their value can be subject to significant volatility (price fluctuations) driven by perceptions about what the underlying assets are worth along with general market sentiment.
The assets of a listed property fund are normally Retail shopping centres, Office towers or Industrial properties (logistics sheds etc.). They can however include other types of properties including child care centres, medical clinics and hospitals, hotels and residential properties.
Unlisted property funds will generally hold a single asset (these are often referred to as “property syndicates”), or a set number of assets. For example a single shopping centre or a group of shopping centres as a set portfolio. These unlisted property fund types are called “closed ended” funds as they will generally only issue units once to investors to secure a property investment.
Some unlisted property funds will be “open-ended” funds which means the property fund can continue to issue units and acquire new properties as time goes on. These unlisted property funds will have no set term and instead will continue to grow.
Unlisted funds (including unlisted property funds) will not fluctuate in price the way listed shares do due to the fact that people are not trading the units on a daily basis like shares. Generally the underlying properties of the fund are valued once per year (due to the fact that they are large pieces of real estate) so do not display the same level of volatility as listed property funds.