Unison Investment Management receives Shariah accreditation for open-ended residential REIT

North American real estate equity partner Unison is now offering what it says is the world's first Shariah-compliant home co-investment vehicle for institutional investors.

Unison invests in the equity portion of owner-occupied homes, enabling institutional investors to efficiently access a diversified housing portfolio and gain exposure to the largest asset class in the world. At the same time, homeowners are able to gain access to liquidity and financing without increasing their indebtedness.

“Unison has transformed the housing industry by introducing a financing option which doesn’t increase debt, doesn’t require interest or monthly payments, and reduces overall risk to homeowners and to society,” says Thomas Sponholtz, CEO of Unison. “Unison’s investment strategy is inherently aligned with Islamic Finance, and we are excited to be able to announce that this alignment has been made official through this certification.”

Unison investments uniquely share in the gain or loss in home prices, rather than charging interest on the homeowner. Like the tenets of Islamic Finance, Unison’s investment philosophy has also been based in partnership and profit sharing. These features make Unison a unique form of investment which corresponds with the values of Shariah-compliant and socially responsible investing.

“Residential real estate is the largest asset class in the world, and a powerful inflation hedge. Yet, broad exposure to the asset class has been cost prohibitive for investors, until now,” says Sponholtz. “Institutional investors and investors seeking ethical and Shariah-compliant investments can now gain efficient access to this asset class.”

Unison’s open-ended residential REIT was Shariah-certified by the Islamic Finance Advisory Board, a non-profit, self-regulatory, voluntary body engaged in the promotion of Islamic Finance in Canada.