The more than R500 billion worth in the real estate sector has seen 32 listings since 2013. But it seems the next wave will boast a very different animal.
The listing of the first pure residential fund Indluplace Properties in June, which manages 3 600 housing units valued at R1.6 billion, was tipped to usher in an era of specialist listings. Residential developer Balwin Properties is aiming for the main board in October. Balwin – said to be to the largest home builder focusing on sectional title residential estates in metropolitan nodes – will be the fourth listing in the sector this year.
The company focuses on building and selling residential units in the price range of R600 000 to R1.7 million. Since its inception in 1996, Balwin has developed and sold over 70 residential estates comprising about 13 500 residential units. Balwin is negotiating more developments over the next nine years in Kyalami, Johannesburg, where it looks to roll out 15 000 units. Says CEO Stephen Brookes: “It is probably the biggest residential deal in South Africa at the moment.”
And Balwin plans to build a rental portfolio of R2 billion to R3 billion by 2020 in addition to its current build-to-sell model. Balwin’s listing will offer a dividend yield of between 3.5% and 4%. Grindrod Asset Management chief investment officer Ian Anderson says Balwin is likely to appeal to a wider range of investors given its more equity-like character of a lower dividend yield, payout ratio and prospect for higher growth than the typical SA Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit).
Management owns 70% of the company and 30% is owned by private equity partner Buffet Investments. Brookes says shares in free float will be mid-30%. Another expected residential-focused listing is by JSE-listed SA Corporate Real Estate Fund, possibly in the next three years. The company might spin off its R1.4 billion residential portfolio of largely inner-city apartments acquired from the Afhco Group in 2014. A separate residential listing, says MD Rory Mackey, mightmaterialise once its residential portfolio doubles to R3 billion. A UK hotel-focused fund, assembled by Redefine International, might make its way onto the AltX.
RBDL Investments will have a primary listing on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Redefine International CEO Mike Watters expects a strong response. “South African investors definitely have an appetite for international property, especially if there is a good management team behind it,” he says.
More offshore funds are in the pipeline. Evan Robins, listed property manager for Old Mutual Investment Group’s MacroSolutions, confirms this. Pivotal Property Fund is en route to bringing an Africa-focused fund through the inward listing of Mara Diversified Property on the AltX and will have a primary listing in Mauritius.