The United States is ranked world’s most transparent market in 2012, according to Jones Lang LaSalle’s 2012 Global real estate transparency index. The United Kingdom and Australia are ranked second and third, respectively.
Markets are assigned to one of five transparency levels, ranging from highly-transparent, transparent, semi-transparent, low-transparency to opaque. The index assesses transparency in 97 real estate markets worldwide, weighting 83 transparency factors.
Australia’s transparency performance has not declined since the survey was last conducted two years ago.
Dr David Rees, JLL Australasian head of research, says changes to the methodology in the questionnaire resulted in a shuffling of the ranking for the top 3 countries, “But the gap in the scores amongst the top 3 remains paper thin.”
The Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada, France, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland were also ranked highly-transparent.
Markets ranked opaque, or least transparent, were Venezuela, Mongolia, Tunisia, Ghana, Iraq, Pakistan, Algeria, Belarus, Angola, Nigeria and Sudan.
‘Leading improvers’ from the 2010 survey were growth markets Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey. Turkey was found to have improved most in terms of transparency.
Regionally, Latin America shows the strongest progress in transparency, the index says. Brazil’s tier one cities rank second in terms of improvement, and are now ‘transparent’.
Source: Jones Lang LaSalle
The index finds debt transparency has improved since the 2010 survey, with increased data on outstanding debt and capital flows available in 11 markets. Regulators were found to have improved oversight of commercial real estate lending in 15 markets.
Canada, Australia, United States, United Kingdom and France continued to lead the index in data availability and regulatory oversight.
The index also found environmental sustainability has emerged as an important transparency factor. The United Kingdom, Australia and France were found to be the most transparent markets in terms of sustainability.
Jones Lang LaSalle says key drivers for further transparency progress will include:
Emerging economies’ growing recognition that their current lack of performance indicators and accurate market information is hindering inward investment
Credit and sovereign wealth crises will motivate regulators, central banks, foreign investors and real estate professionals toward improved transparency; offering more public data on debt and monitoring lenders more closely
Properties’ sustainable characteristics having increased influence on leasing and investment decisions, forcing greater transparency on energy efficiency and green benchmarking