South Africa's property market showed its highest return in 2012 since the 2008-09 global financial crisis, according to the SAPOA/IPD South Africa Annual Property Index released in Johannesburg last week.
The index showed that the country's property sector delivered a 15.2% total return last year, an increase on the 10.3% return in 2011.
"A real divergence in the market has occurred," managing director of IPD South Africa, Stan Garrun, said in a statement.
"We have seen a good turnaround for retail and industrial properties, [but] concern remains over the health of the office sector, as evidenced by high vacancies particularly in the inner cities.
"Given the context of a moderate-to-soft economic outlook and relatively low levels of consumer and business confidence, South African property has managed to once again prove its resilience," he said.
The SAPOA/IPD index looks at a sample of 1 669 properties worth R206.2-billion in capital value, representing about 60% of professionally managed investment property in the country.
SAPOA is the representative body of commercial and industrial property sector in South Africa. IPD offers real estate analysis to clients in over 30 countries worldwide and produces more than 120 indices on the property market annually.
"South Africa joins just a handful of countries globally experiencing even a mildly positive trend in returns," the SAPOA/IPD South Africa Annual Property Index said.
"Once again, non-European markets are tending to outperform European countries."