Given SA’s well-documented housing backlog, one would think the market would be flooded with private, institutional and listed property funds trying to cash in on pent-up demand for affordable accommodation. But it’s not so — in fact, the JSE’s R480bn property sector has to date managed to lure only two dedicated rental housing funds into its fold: Indluplace Properties, which listed in mid-2015, and Transcend Residential Property Fund, which was brought to the market by private equity player International Housing Solutions in December last year. Both are still small players. Indluplace’s market cap is R2.5bn and Transcend’s is R404.5m. And only two of the JSE’s 50 property funds have partial exposure to the rental housing market, namely Octodec Investments and SA Corporate Real Estate Fund. The residential units in JSE-listed housing portfolios typically fetch rent of about R4,000/month. Very few property funds and developers are providing stock priced at R2,000-R3,000/month, a gap...

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