2017: A Year in Review

5 Dec 2017 - 16:30

It has been an action-filled year at URERU and we are very pleased with the progress made in 2017. The unit has continued to see considerable growth and this year’s end brings a tremendous sense of accomplishment as well as excitement for 2018. This brief review serves to highlight the key milestones achieved during 2017 and what you can expect to see from URERU in 2018.

Research Projects:

This year the unit has embarked on a number of exciting research projects across a broad spectrum of real estate and urban development related topics. Below is a list of some of these projects:

- Understanding the micro-developers in Cape Town.
- Assessing how Public Transport Interchanges (PTI) can be incorporated into an Urban Management Framework: A case study of Belville PTI.
- Understanding the cost drivers of housing supply in Cape Town.
- Mapping the property development process in the Western Cape.
- Exploring the link between property data and market maturity in Africa.
- The emergence of Property Technology (PropTech) and its role in the SA property market.

African Property Data Project:

Early in 2017 we set out to develop a database of real estate related data in African markets. The project, which is still in its infancy, has now become a task central to URERU’s efforts for this year and 2018. This project was inspired by the lack of accessibility to reliable, consistently produced, and relevant real estate data across Africa. Thus, the aim is to unlock property data and increase the transparency African property markets. The hope is that project will create market efficiencies resulting in growth in the sector across the continent. The data project will also data enable advanced analysis and research for the real estate sector locally and internationally. Currently the African Property Data Project is in the collection and collation phase, and we have identified 10 key indicators to begin with. Next year, the plan is to develop an interactive platform that can be accessed to perform various analytic and search tasks. This is currently being piloted in Botswana. Stay tuned for more developments about this project next year.

Alliances with Industry and Academic Institutions:

The main purpose of URERU is to develop a vehicle for collaborative research between industry and academia across the continent. To this end, the unit has sought to develop strategic partnerships and research alliances with various academic and industry institutions across Africa. This year saw the establishment of a research alliances with the South African Institute for Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP); Makerere University, Uganda; the University of Nairobi, Kenya; the Central City Improvement District (CCID), the Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP); MDA Property Systems; and the Western Cape Property Developer’s Forum (WCPDF). Through these relationships the unit hopes to foster pan-African real-estate research that actively engages citizens, academics and professionals alike.

Conferences, Conventions and Publications:

It has been a busy year of presentations and publications for the unit. We are passionate about the ideas we develop here at URERU and have worked tirelessly to disseminate or work to a broad audience; including industry, academia and public sector. We have made 28 appearances at international and local conferences and conventions. Additionally, we have published 5 academic articles and numerous more industry related publications. This serves our agenda of bridging the gap between industry and academia. Further to this is our quarterly seminars the unit has been running in conjunction with the South African Property Owner’s Association. Each quarter we have hosted a number of professionals, students and academics to discuss topical themes relating to urban real estate.

Next Steps... 2018:

Despite looking forward to a much needed break over the festive season, we are eagerly awaiting what is in store for URERU in the new year. Next year’s strategy is centred around further expansion of the unit. This will include: increased publications, conferences and conventions; developing our market reports and analysis; expanding the scope and number of our research projects; and establishing courses for both public and private sectors.
Central to our research development will be the launch of a project exploring the role of technology in unleashing African property markets.

Thank you for your continued support and interest. We look forward to seeing you next year.