Global Real Estate Transparency Index , covering 102 markets worldwide, shows continued progress in the transparency of commercial real estate around the world. Over 80% of markets have registered improvement since 2012. The top improvers in each survey generally correlate with a surge in foreign direct investment and corporate occupier activity, as investors help to accelerate transparency reforms and governments realise that poor transparency will affect continued inward investment, long-term growth prospects and the quality of life of citizens.
The world’s most transparent markets are still dominated by Anglophone markets – the UK, U.S., Australia and New Zealand. However, France and Finland, which are at the forefront of ‘open data’ initiatives, have consolidated their positions in the top ranks. Ireland has moved into the top tier of transparency as a result of a new REIT-enabling legislation.
The top improvers in 2014 are dominated by Sub-Saharan African countries, as transparency pushes into the frontiers of global real estate. Five of the Global Top 10 improvers are in the sub-region - Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and Mauritius. However, while progress is being made across the continent, much still needs to be achieved.
Central and Eastern Europe continues to feature among the top improvers – notably Romania, Serbia and Hungary. However, Ukraine has regressed, highlighting how political uncertainty and geo-political strife can quickly compromise transparency levels.
Colombia and Peru are the biggest movers in the Americas underpinned by strong economic growth, high FDI and rising real estate investment. Despite these improvements, no South American country appears in the Global Top 20 of the overall index or any of the five sub-indices – the only continent to fail to achieve a top-scoring position.
MENA has struggled to maintain momentum – the notable exception is Qatar which is making concerted efforts to create a more open and transparent market. The country also illustrates the power of the international spotlight in forcing more stringent building controls and safety standards.
Improvements in Asia Pacific have been steady but unspectacular, and for the first time there are no Asia Pacific markets in the Global Top 10. The competition for the most transparent market in Asia has intensified, as Singapore moves ahead of Hong Kong, where cooling measures have compromised transparency levels.
Global Real Estate Transparency Index is a unique survey that quantifies real estate market transparency across 102 markets worldwide. The Index is updated every two years and has been charting the steady progress in real estate transparency across the globe for 15 years. The 2014 Index is our eighth edition.
The Index aims to help real estate investors, corporate occupiers, retailers and hotel operators understand important differences when transacting, owning and operating in foreign markets. It is also a helpful gauge for governments and industry organisations who are seeking to improve transparency in their home markets.
In the 2014 Index, we have introduced much greater granularity as transparency levels come under greater scrutiny and the real estate industry seeks more detailed information to inform decisions. While the survey covers the same topics as the 2012 edition, it now breaks these down into 115 factors, representing nearly a 40% increase on the 83 covered in 2012. Although the consistency of the survey is not compromised, the explicit inclusion of many more factors does underpin some of the changes in score between 2012 and 2014.
Coverage has been extended further into Sub-Saharan Africa to include Ethiopia, Mozambique, Senegal and Uganda; Myanmar is a new addition in Asia, while Libya has rejoined the Index.
As in prior surveys, teams of researchers and business leaders from JLL and LaSalle Investment Management have worked together to assess the transparency in each of the 102 markets. Our Alliance Partners have also helped to provide additional ‘on-the-ground’ information. Accounting, finance and legal experts have been consulted too, especially in emerging markets, in order to supplement our collective real estate knowledge.
Since we launched the Index in 1999, its components have evolved and been refined to reflect the changing demands of cross-border investors and corporate occupiers. Therefore, to enable comparisons to be made across time, we have recreated an historic Transparency Index based on current weights and questions. We should like to emphasise that the recalibrated historic Indices differ from those published at the time of each survey.
We trust that the 2014 Transparency Index will provide valuable insights into the changes in real estate transparency across the globe. A complete description of the methodology used to create this Index is set out in the
For more information about the Index and how we can help with your real estate decisions, please connect with one of the Global Real Estate Transparency Team.