We have the great pleasure of welcoming you to our AfRES annual conference for 2014 held in Cape Town at the University of Cape Town. We are glad to offer a special welcome to the South African Council for the Property Valuers Profession (SACPVP) for joining our conference this year, it enriches our joint conference. We would also like to thank the numerous sponsors who have assisted in different ways; the conference would not have been possible without their contributions.

We hope that we will all benefit from the gathering through discussions and debates both practically and academically. The 2014 AfRES annual conference sees the involvement of the SACPVP. This has not only increased the number of valuation papers but has also increased the number of attendees. We also trust that it will yield greater cooperation between African valuers in the years to come.

With all the changes and growth that we are seeing in the urban areas on the African continent we realize that we are seeing a maturity in our real estate markets. Hence, the main theme of the conference is Urban Real Estate Markets: A Catalyst for Economic Growth and Development. Urban real estate markets are not only reacting to urban economic growth but are also part and parcel of initiating and encouraging that growth. The nature of the real estate in our urban centers is changing, responding and catching up with the rest of the world.

We are appreciative to the Scientific / Technical committee for their work in reviewing the submitted abstracts and papers. The feedback to the authors was very helpful in developing the papers and finalizing them in the format presented. The papers printed in these proceedings were double-blind reviewed to ensure high standards and international comparability. The abstracts were reviewed and some guidance given to some of the authors.

The Southern African AfRES chapter is grateful to those who assisted and contributed in bringing this conference together and making it happen. We are appreciative of the hours of work which some of our members dedicated to the process.

Finally, a special thank you to Ms. Belinda Chapman of the Conference Management Center at UCT for her assistance in the process.

Patrick Katabua
On behalf of the Organizing Committee, September 2014