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When are income chasers likely to start buying property stocks again? That’s the million-dollar question on many people’s minds as the negative sentiment that has led to the sector’s unprecedented 23% decline (in total return) in the year to date lingers. The slump compares with a 17% total return achieved by the SA listed property index (Sapy) last year, and is the sector’s worst performance in more than 20 years. There have been only three other periods since 1995 when property stocks delivered a negative return: 1996, 1998 and 2008. But these declines were not nearly as severe as that of this year, which ranged from a 1% drop to a 16% fall. This year’s share price decline was initially triggered by a sell-off of the Resilient stable of shares in January and February following allegations of insider trading and share manipulation. The matter is the subject of a protracted and as yet unresolved probe by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). While the four companies associa...

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