Industrial property may have a reputation of being the ugly cousin in the real-estate sector, but for more than a year it has outperformed retail and offices. While traditional smokestack industrial properties are struggling, the sector’s newer, modern distribution warehouses are booming. Growing demand for online shopping and increased imported products in the market are helping distribution centres. People at the coal face say various types of industrial property, especially distribution centres, should continue to deliver attractive returns for the rest of 2017 and in 2018. Industrial property was the top performer in 2016, with a total return of 13.6%, outperforming the traditional frontrunner, retail, at 12.6%, the IPD South African Annual Property index showed in April. Growthpoint Properties’ industrial divisional director, Engelbert Binedell, says industrial property should perform at a "slow but healthy pace" for months. This is while the retail property sector’s performanc...

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