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Australia world’s most transparent real estate market

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Australia is the world’s most transparent real estate market in 2010, pushing Canada into second place, according to Jones Lang LaSalle and LaSalle Investment Management’s Global Commercial Real Estate Transparency Index. 

Whilst one third of markets globally registered no change or a deterioration, there are a number of bright spots and real estate transparency continues to improve, albeit moderately, in the majority of markets. 

Of the top 15 improvers, nine are in Europe and six are in Asia Pacific. Turkey tops the league table of transparency improvers, and progress has been made in China, India, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Greece and Hungary. 

Declines in transparency were registered in countries such as Pakistan, Kuwait, Venezuela, Dubai and Bahrain; although the level of decline was modest in these countries, the reversal of past gains is notable.

Over the past two years, the average improvement in real estate transparency across the 81 markets covered by the index has halved, when compared to both the 2006-2008 and 2004-2006 periods.

Jacques Gordon, global head of strategy for LaSalle Investment Management, says: “The 2010 Global Real Estate Transparency Index reveals a notable slowdown in the progress of real estate transparency over the past two years. It suggests that the recent turmoil in global financial, economic and real estate markets has impacted on market behaviour, with real estate players focusing on survival rather than market advancement. It is interesting to note that the most highly transparent countries experienced illiquidity and volatility over last two years, despite their positions at the top of the transparency rankings. That said transparency does appear to speed up the restructuring process.”

In addition to the original measures of performance measurement, market fundamentals, listed vehicles, legal and regulatory environment and transaction process, the 2010 index measures for the first time two elements of real estate debt transparency: the breadth and depth of data available on commercial real estate debt and how well commercial real estate lending risks are monitored by regulators of financial institutions. 

In a parallel trend to the overall transparency scores, levels of debt transparency vary greatly. In many developed countries, the regulatory oversight process achieves reasonably high scores, but the scores on the availability of information on commercial real estate debt markets do not. In less developed countries, scores on both attributes are in the semi-transparent range, or lower.

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