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Real estate has been one of the most favoured sectors of the unit trust market. As it evolved from a highly illiquid sector in which most shares were controlled by the founding families it became larger and more tradable. Consolidation allowed the growth of shares into the top 40, such as Redefine, Growthpoint and Nepi Rockcastle.

Until two years ago, listed property was the best-performing asset class in SA. Income was considered to be rock solid. And it is true that at their best, property shares combine the income characteristics of bonds with the growth aspects of equities...

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