Listed sector not coming off the boil

Posted On Tuesday, 10 June 2003 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Suggestions that the listed property sector, the likes of property unit trusts and property loan stock, is coming off the boil, are premature says Rodney Luntz of property consultancy, Abro Luntz.

Property-Housing-ResidentialThe factors working in favour of continued buoyancy in the sector are still in place he believes, certainly in terms of office space.

The fundamental drivers of the market, income streams from property leases, continue to outperform equities and should do so for the foreseeable future, with further growth linked to normal lease escalations.

In general therefore, selected listed property vehicles remained more secure and less volatile investments, a scenario that should be perpetuated in the medium term at least, provided the underlying assets backing the stock were based on a sound tenant mix, position and, in the case of retail stock, the nature of the market catchment area and the market positioning of the property. There was a need for investors to "do their homework" in this respect.

Also working in favour of the market, he said, was the continued decline in office space availability in many areas.

In this context, the latest SAPOA figures for Johannesburg, with comparisons of nine months ago shown in brackets, are CBD 24,6% (25,4), Fourways 5,8%(5,9), Hyde Park 21,3%(23,2), Melrose/Waverley 7,5%(17), Parktown 19,8% (21,9) and Woodmead 9,7%(14,6).

In Cape Town: Claremont 22,3%(23,6) and Pinelands1,6%(2,8). In Durban Berea was now 7,5%(10,2) and in Pretoria, the CBD over-supply is 15,5%(19,4), Centurion 7,4(9,4), Hatfield/Hillcrest 6% (7,2), Menlyn 8,9%(9,1) and the Eastern suburbs 2,3%(3,9).

Moreover the anticipated decline in interest rates, linked to anticipated weakening of the Rand, will be stimulatory for the economy as a whole, boosting demand for office, industrial and retail space further.

However, while property loan stock companies had made a huge impact on the property market, the burgeoning number of such vehicles suggested the need for selectivity among investors. Investors should always remain aware of the need to assess carefully the backers of any given property loan stock.

The nature of the assets behind the stock companies was important and should be judged on the basis of the tenant mix, the quality of the tenants, present and future income stream and the sustainability and growth of that income stream, irrespective of business conditions. Different levels of performance by loan stocks also reflected the quality of management.

Pointers to look for were inefficient financial structures and the over occurrence of deferred units which reduce earnings share and hence dividends and which restricted growth prospects.

Simply put, there had to be a solid, medium to long term return from a stock that also happened to be readily tradable.

Last modified on Wednesday, 07 May 2014 11:04

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