The South African listed property sector has been held back by an overreliance on short-term returns, according to industry professionals. The emphasis needed to go back to serving customers and investing responsibly, they said at the annual South African Property Owners Association conference, which was held in Durban on Thursday. Demanding that property firms deliver dividend growth rates that were much higher than economic growth rates was proving unsustainable and attention needed to go back to managing portfolios and positioning funds for future trends. Izak Petersen, CEO of Dipula Income Fund and chairman of the SA Reit Association, said he was concerned that property owners were not focused on managing their assets and better serving their customers. He said they were driven by fund managers to enhance dividend growth through acquiring assets, which did not necessarily carry the strongest investment case, and expanding offshore to take advantage of an attractive yield spread....

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