Well the UK is certainly in the spotlight at the moment. Whatever its future outside of the EU, it’s already out in front in one area, real estate transparency, ranking as the world’s most transparent market.

It might not seem that important. It might even seem a little “woolly” as a topic. But, it has a huge impact on investors, occupiers, governments and academics; they give this the sharp eye.

Investors
It’s one measure of risk. Are there sufficient regulations in place to ensure my building is safe? How secure is my land tenure?  How clear is the transaction process? Can I access data to realistically and accurately benchmark my assets’ performance?

Occupiers
Do I know what services my landlord will provide? Can I trust my agent to act in my best interests? Do I know where my service charges are being spent?

Governments
How can we generate more growth from real estate?  How can we become more competitive in attracting real estate investment internationally?  How can we appear more credible on the world stage?

Academics
Will emerging markets with strong GDP growth attract more investment in the future? Which markets have the strongest regulatory systems? What new trends are emerging that may influence future movements in transparency?

The results have just come out and Asia Pacific fared generally well

Australia is the most transparent market in AP and has moved up the global ranking again to #2 (the UK, US and Australia are always juxtaposing for the top slots). China is opening up and at least Shanghai & Beijing have moved to the edge of the ‘Transparent’ category.

In reality, it’s a “chicken and egg” scenario. Investment volumes drive transparency. Without investment volumes, transparency is a challenge.  Japan bucks this trend, until recently it’s been a large fairly insular domestic investment market, but has now started to see transparency improve alongside growing foreign investor interest.

It’s no coincidence, ‘Highly Transparent’ and ‘Transparent’ markets account for 70% of regional real estate investment volumes. Where there is transparency, investors go.

Rising investor and occupier demands have played roles in transparency gains, but governments and their agendas are also major drivers. Government-led initiatives such as taxation reforms and the creation of online sales/leasing databases have been major contributors to Taiwan progressing to the “Transparent” category.

Audiences love rankings, but for us, this isn’t just some quick exercise that becomes tomorrow’s chip paper wrapping. It’s a highly technical and academic global initiative to really help inform and educate, not just our clients, but the industry at large. To find out how your market ranks, take a look at the report or visit the interactive website.

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