An Investigation into the Relatively Low Uptake of Residential Stock within South African Real Estate Investment Trusts
Since the establishment of the first South African Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) in 2013, the listed property sector has seen significant growth with a current market capitalisation of R400 billion in comparison to 1998 where the market capitalisation was R5 billion. However, South African REITs invest less in the residential sector when compared to the global REIT market. The purpose of this research was to determine the factors that have attributed to this low uptake of residential stock. This was achieved using a qualitative survey consisting of semi-structured interviews with listed property fund managers and upper management from four REITs listed on the South African stock exchange. The findings indicated a number of factors that have influenced the low uptake of residential stock. These have been identified as the financial performance of residential real estate in South Africa, the nature of residential real estate, and the maturity of the REITs sector in South Africa. These findings make a valuable contribution to the very limited literature on REITs in South Africa. Furthermore, understanding these factors is crucial in further developing the REITs sector in South Africa which has the potential to catalyse broader developments for housing and the economy.