SA’s largest local real estate group, Growthpoint Properties, has sounded a warning about tougher domestic conditions in the second half of its 2017 financial year. Norbert Sasse, CEO of the R76bn real estate investment trust, said attracting and retaining tenants had become challenging in an economy that was constrained. "We are dealing with a difficult environment domestically. The portfolio’s occupancy levels improved but we’re attracting and retaining clients at a cost in a fiercely competitive and weak market, and this is placing net property income under pressure," said Sasse, speaking after the release of results for the six months to December. Growthpoint reported distribution growth of 6.1% for the six months to December, in line with market guidance of between 5% and 6%. "Demonstrating resilience and continuing our 12-year-plus track record of uninterrupted distribution growth for investors, Growthpoint has performed well in a tough market," said Sasse. In order to improve...

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