English: The South African property industry is unique in that it has both ‘first’- and ‘third’-world characteristics in close juxtaposition. This article engages with two related questions. First, it provides an overview of the defining characteristics of the South African property industry. Secondly, it outlines key issues for research arising from these characteristics. The article therefore assesses the possibility of defining and projecting, in global terms, a sufficiently distinct South African property research programme.