This year has turned out to be a horrible one for many property investors. Not only have real estate punters suffered losses on the capital growth front — the SA JSE-listed property index has tumbled about 30% in the year to date — but there has also been bad news in the form of lower-than-expected dividend growth. Most local counters have struggled to maintain the usual inflation-beating growth in income payouts as tough trading conditions in SA continue to erode earnings from office, industrial and shopping centre portfolios. Quite a few have in fact declared a drop in dividend payouts in recent results periods. These include Accelerate Property Fund, Rebosis Property Fund (B shares), Delta Property Fund, Texton Property Fund, Arrowhead Properties, Liberty Two Degrees and SA Corporate Real Estate. But it’s not doom and gloom for all SA-based property funds. There have been a few notable exceptions, such as logistics company Equites Property Fund, Cape-focused Spear Reit, Stor-Age ...

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