It took a while for real estate investors to warm to Stor-Age Property Reit when it made its debut on the JSE in November 2015. Back then, few regarded self-storage as a serious asset class — the general perception was that it was simply a collection of old, garage-like buildings scattered in dodgy, out-of-town areas. Stor-Age also came to the market in the midst of the 2015/2016 property listings boom, so it had to compete for investors’ money with at least a dozen other new offerings.

How times have changed. These days Stor-Age regularly tops fund managers’ stock-pick lists, and with good reason — it is one of less than a handful of property stocks still delivering inflation-beating dividend growth. Management, under the helm of CEO Gavin Lucas, last week declared a 9.05% rise in income payouts for the year to March 3 — well ahead of the sector’s average 3%-4%...

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