Essex Announces Its 18th Consecutive Annual Dividend Increase

Establishes Record Date for the Annual Shareholders' Meeting

Marketwired

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire -02/22/12)- Essex Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESS - News) announced today its Board of Directors has approved a $0.24 per share annualized increase to its regular cash dividend. The first quarter dividend distribution, payable on April 13, 2012 to shareholders of record as of March 30, 2012, will be $1.10 per share. The declared dividend represents a 5.8% increase over the Company's prior quarterly dividend of $1.04 per share. On an annualized basis, the dividend represents a distribution of $4.40 per common share.

The Board of Directors declared quarterly distributions of $0.30469 and $0.44531 per share, which represent annual distributions of $1.2188 and $1.7812 per share, on its 4.875% Series G Cumulative Convertible Preferred shares and its 7.125% Series H Cumulative Redeemable Preferred shares, respectively. Distributions for the 4.875% Series G Cumulative Convertible Preferred shares are payable on April 30, 2012 to shareholders of record as of April 2, 2012. Distributions for the 7.125% Series H Cumulative Redeemable Preferred shares are payable on April 13, 2012 to shareholders of record as of April 2, 2012.

The Annual Meeting of Shareholders will be held on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 1:00 p.m., at the Stanford Park Hotel, located at 100 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025. Shareholders of record as of February 29, 2012 will be entitled to vote at the meeting.

Essex Property Trust, Inc., located in Palo Alto, California and traded on the New York Stock Exchange (ESS), is a fully integrated real estate investment trust (REIT) that acquires, develops, redevelops, and manages multifamily residential properties in selected West Coast markets. Essex currently has ownership interests in 160 apartment communities with an additional 5 properties in various stages of active development. Additional information about Essex can be found on the Company's web site at www.essexpropertytrust.com.

Contact:
BRYAN HUNT
(650) 849-5823

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