Finding a property stock that is still able to deliver dividend growth north of 10% is near-impossible. Most real estate counters have seen distribution growth slow to around 5%-6% as a depressed economy and dwindling consumer spending eat into earnings. In fact, shareholders of quite a few property stocks will have to be satisfied with zero or negative growth in dividend payouts this year. Spear Reit, the Cape-focused property play listed on the JSE two years ago by industry veteran Mike Flax, is an exception. The small-cap company delivered distribution growth of 12.9% for the six months ended August year on year. More impressive is that Spear expects to maintain growth of 9%-11% for the full year to February. Spear hasn’t fared too badly on the share price performance front either, considering the huge sell-down of the sector as a whole year to date. The stock is down around 5% between January 2 and November 13, against a 25% decline in the SA listed property index over the same ...

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