Listed Property Sector register gains in September

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local listed property sector registered a gain of 1.4% during the week ended 27 September 2013, despite the recent bond-driven share price volatility and a weaker Rand. local listed property sector registered a gain of 1.4% during the week ended 27 September 2013, despite the recent bond-driven share price volatility and a weaker Rand.

Local listed property sector registered a gain of 1.4% during the week ended 27 September 2013, despite the recent bond-driven share price volatility and a weaker Rand.

SA REIT Regulation and Taxation Committee Chairman and Executive Director of Growthpoint Properties, Estienne de Klerk said It's important for investors to realise there are many different factors that influence the performance of property investments.

Positive market signals noted right now include more proactive leasing to maximise demand and ensure rental reversions result in maintaining and growing rental income. More attractive tenant incentives are driving better occupancy levels, as are market-related rentals. Slowing utility cost increases are a welcome factor after years of significant cost escalations.

Despite this, shifting bond yields are set to continue to influence listed property share prices resulting in continued capital market volatility.

According to Grindrod Asset Management chief investment officer Ian Anderson, September as a whole, the sector is up 7.5%, comfortably outpacing both the South African equity (+5.8%) and bond (+3.4%) markets.

During the week, the Rand depreciated by 19c to the US dollar, while longer-dated South African government bond yields increased by 10 basis points.

There is growing concern that the Democrats and Republicans will not reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling in the United States, effectively shutting down the US government from midnight on 30 September.

This has resulted in higher levels of volatility and increased selling pressure on emerging market currencies like the Rand.

In company-specific news, Dipula Income Fund announced the cancellation of the Tembisa Mall acquisition. In terms of the agreement concluded by Dipula to acquire Tembisa Mall on its completion, the purchase was subject to the parties reaching agreement on all components of the development plan and the Mall being developed in accordance with that plan.

The vendors have sought to cancel the agreement on the basis that certain conditions have not been fulfilled. Although Dipula disagrees, it has accepted the cancellation on the basis that they would be unable to agree to a satisfactory development plan for the completion of the Mall.

The current one-year forward yield on South Africa’s listed property sector is 7.1%, approximately 50 basis points below the yield on longer-dated SA government bonds. Given that distribution growth from the listed property sector is likely to average more than 7% per annum over the next three years, this level of yield-premium is more than justified and listed property continues to look more attractive than bonds at current levels.”

While the sector’s short-term outlook remains cautious, analysts are optimistic that, over a five-year investment horizon, listed property as an asset class can deliver total returns of between 10% and 12% a year, as reported in Catalyst Fund Managers’ monthly Listed Property Sector Monthly Review for September 2013.


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