SA listed property has been by far the most successful asset class over the past 15 years. It has given an average return of 18.9% since 2004, more than double that from both nominal and inflation-linked bonds and ahead of the 16.5% from equities. It has enabled the sector to grow from R20bn to R450bn. And portfolio managers have a substantial choice, from giant diversified businesses such as Growthpoint to highly specialised funds such as Stor-Age and logistics group Equites. The industry has catered for increased investor demand by moving into other territories, owning a big chunk of the market in Poland and Romania, and more recently Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Investors had got used to lower pullbacks from property than from equities. But the year began poorly, with a total loss of close to 20% in the three months to March. Property yields looked demanding at about 5.9% relative to 8.2% from the 10-year RSA bond. But the catalyst for the slump turned out to be stock-specif...

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