The relaunch of the Journal of African Real Estate Research (JARER) provides an exciting new platform for the dissemination of scholarship engaged with the real estate sector in Africa. A central objective of the journal will be to convey the characteristics that define real estate markets in Africa as well as the diversity that exists within these markets. The relaunch and long-term success of JARER also reflects a long-standing objective of the African Real Estate Society – to promote research and education among property professionals across the continent..
The study of real estate in Africa offers a unique opportunity to develop a research agenda and body of knowledge that is different from those developed in more mature markets. An African-focussed real estate research agenda will need to deal with markets that are characterised by rapidly growing cities, a shortage of affordable residential and commercial space, and markets that function with relatively poor information flows. Real estate markets across the continent also reflect country-specific, historical and institutional arrangements resulting in unique market outcomes.
JARER will support the development of research methodologies and theoretical perspectives that are able to provide a new insights and a deeper understanding of market realities and the different avenues that exist for the sector to play a responsible role in promoting economic development and the delivery of broader socio-economic objectives.
A further important goal of JARER will be to provide valuable resources that support academic, as well as professional researchers across the continent. In achieving this goal, the journal will play an active role in promoting inquiry into topical themes including research that is focussed on the development of real estate academic programmes in Africa.
It is heartening to see the number of articles that the journal has attracted in a relatively short period of time, as well as the number of reviewers that have offered to actively participate in the journal. To ensure wide readership, the decision has been taken to make the JARER available as open access via an electronic platform hosted by the University of Cape Town.
This relaunch issue has the good fortune of showcasing a number of quality publications received from across the continent. Additionally, these papers have made valuable contributions to existing knowledge on critically important topics relating to real estate in Africa. These topics include: the role and use of technology in real estate practice, assessing real estate education at African institutions, the management of risk in real estate development in Africa, managing public housing in Ghana, Real Estate Investment Trusts and residential property in South Africa, and the challenges of land registration in Nigeria.
The standard and quality of these articles highlights the excellence that already exists across the continent and shows signs of great things to come for real estate research in Africa.
The relaunch of JARER was made possible by the support of board members of the African Real Estate Society, the library services at the University of Cape Town, and Journal Manager, Luke Boyle from the Urban Real Estate Research, who has worked tirelessly in coordinating this process. Additionally, I would like to extend my gratitude to Professor Karl-Werner Schulte, and the International Real Estate Business School, who have played a consistent and invaluable role in supporting the activities of JARER over the years.
I am confident that the JARER will, in the years to come, grow from strength to strength and fill an important gap in global real estate literature.