NCREIF Fund Index – Open End Equity (NFI-OE)

The NCREIF Fund Index – Open-End Equity (NFI-OE) was released in 2012 with data going back to First Quarter 1978. 

NFI-OE is an aggregate of open-end, commingled equity real estate funds with diverse investment strategies.  Funds comprising NFI-OE have varied concentrations of sector and region, core and non-core, leverage and life cycle.  Accordingly, NFI-OE is not a performance benchmark.  It is a market index of real estate vehicles with provisions for liquidity.  The NFI-ODCE is a subset of the NFI-OE.

The NFI-OE is reported on a capitalization-weighted, leveraged, gross of fee, time-weighted returns basis.  Also provided are aggregate net of fees returns and equally-weighted returns.

Quarterly Returns

The table below represents gross total returns (value weight) for the NFI-OE


NFI-OE is a superset of real estate open-end fund data reported to NCREIF that includes NFI-ODCE qualifying funds. The NFI-OE represents a broader universe of open end fund vehicles with varying risk/return objectives and execution strategies; the NFI-ODCE represents a more narrowly defined group of open end funds that focus on executing a similar strategy (i.e., diversified core).

Versus the NFI-ODCE, the NFI-OE is expected to have higher average leverage, non-operating properties (more development and re-development), and vacancy levels. It will also include a broader array of property types in the underlying investments.
The NFI-OE is not intended as a performance benchmark due to the varying strategies of the underlying funds. The constituent funds in NFI-ODCE follow more similar investment strategies and meet more restrictive inclusion criteria, such as property type and region diversification, .life cycle, and leverage. 

The additional funds in the all open-end index do not qualify for NFI-ODCE for a number of reasons. Some have higher leverage levels; others maintain concentrations in property types or regions; some have non-NPI property types that do not qualify for NFI-ODCE. Attempting to pull out a risk premium relative to NFI-ODCE would not be appropriate. 

All open end private equity focused institutional real estate funds that are open to investment and contribute data to NCREIF are eligible to be included in this universe (see inclusion criteria in FAQ #6). This universe of funds varies by concentrations of sectors, regions, operating properties, leverage and life cycle. The universe represents a mix of legacy open end qualifying funds that are no longer in operation and currently open funds that are available for on-going investment


To be eligible for inclusion in the NFI-OE a fund must:

a. Be an open-end fund product that owns institutional real estate and is operated in a fiduciary environment, and

b. Markets itself as primarily investing in private equity real estate, as follows:

  • i. Real Estate – at least 80% of market value of net assets is invested in real estate [no more than 20% of such assets invested in cash and/or cash equivalents.
  • ii. Investments – at least 80% of market value of real estate net assets in private equity real estate properties [no more than 20% of such assets invested in, but not limited to, property debt, public company equity/debt or private company (operating business) equity/debt.
  • iii. Domain – at least 80% of market value of real estate net assets in US markets.

 Note, unlike the NFI-ODCE, this index does not require the following:

  1. Property type diversification
  2. Regional diversification
  3. Maximum leverage percentage
  4. Minimum percent of properties that are operating

c. Comply with the NCREIF/PREA Real Estate Information Standards, including annual audits, quarterly valuations and time-weighted returns. Further, the fund must submit information in accordance with the NCREIF Fund Data Collection and Reporting Manual. Timely, accurate and industry compliant data is required.


NCREIF does not calculate individual fund returns. The managers submit their fund returns (as reported to the funds’ investors) to NCREIF. NCREIF calculates a weighted average return for the value-weighted Index using the time-weighted return denominators that are reported for each individual fund. This is the same methodology used to calculate the NFI-ODCE Index.
The industry standard fund level formula is the Modified-Dietz formula which is well documented in the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS).