About Us

The current and projected growth in African cities creates significant opportunities for real estate on the continent but also presents serious challenges in the form of infrastructure deficits, urban management and the financial viability of cities in general. While many of these opportunities and challenges are experienced elsewhere in the world, the nature and scale of them are unique to South Africa and the rest of the continent. For this reason, the main aim of the Research Unit is to provide a unique interdisciplinary research platform for academia that promotes the identification of issues and seeks solutions to urban real estate investment, finance, economics, sustainability and management problems in Africa. We also aim to collect, analyse and interpret market data to produce strong quantitative and qualitatively backed research to provide market insights.

The key issues facing urban real estate include sustainability, inclusivity, globalisation, rapid technological change, sectoral economic change, urban management, fiscal sustainability, urban growth management and infrastructure provision. The Unit also aims to address the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals, precisely Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Development. As a result, the Unit focuses on seven main areas of research:

1. Sustainability

2. Public Land Development Research

3. Market Analysis and Performance

4. Finance and Investment

5. Urban Development and Management

6. African Real Estate Markets

7. Data Collection and Analysis


In addition, URERU is committed to UCT's Vision 2030 by:

  • Producing research that answers the complex problems of today and tomorrow
  • Building on its globally recognised expertise
  • Attracting top academics from South Africa, the rest of Afrika and the broader global community
  • Intensifying our global interface with other universities and research centres by leveraging our participation in international and Afrikan partnerships

Click here to download the UCT Vision 2030 document.

There is a growing acceptance that successful research should not only respond to the needs of society but should also be undertaken with the participation of several stakeholders. The Unit reflects an opportunity to initiate a unique research alliance between UCT, industry, and society.

The Unit is located in the Department of Construction Economics and Management, which offers internationally benchmarked qualifications in real estate/property, quantity surveying, construction management and project management.




All Enquiries Contact:  
Jennifer Breda
Tel: (+27) 021 650 4162
Email: jennifer.breda@uct.ac.za 

Core Research Team:      

A/Prof Francois Viruly –Francois.Viruly@uct.ac.za 

A/Prof Kathy Michell –Kathy.Michell@uct.ac.za 

Dr Frank Ametefe – frank.ametefe@uct.ac.za

Dr Saul Nurick –          sd.nurick@uct.ac.za

Dr Louie Van Schalkwyk –Louie.VanSchalkwyk@uct.ac.za