Published July 13, 2006

S'pore one of most transparent markets
JLL: Cross-border investments have raised transparency of property markets


JONES Lang LaSalle's (JLL) latest Real Estate Transparency Index has listed Singapore under Tier 1 (Highly Transparent), up from Tier 2 (Transparent) in the last survey in 2004. The survey of 56 markets shows property markets around the world have become more transparent over the past two years, driven by the rise of cross-border investment opportunities and multinational occupiers.

JLL also highlighted the fact that real estate investment trusts (Reits) have enhanced the need for greater transparency wherever they are introduced in the Asia-Pacific region.

Besides Singapore, the only other country in the Asia-Pacific to make it to Tier 1 in the latest survey is Hong Kong, which was also previously in Tier 2.

The two joined Australia and New Zealand, which were already in Tier 1 in the 2004 study.

On a global basis, Australia, US, New Zealand, Canada and UK took the top spots as the most transparent countries this year.

Although Singapore has moved to a higher transparency band, its numerical ranking in the survey of 56 countries slipped a notch from ninth position in 2004 to 10th this year. France, which had been ranked 11th two years ago, moved up to ninth spot.

The five-tier transparency ranking system ranges from Tier 1 (Highly Transparent) to Tier 5 (Opaque). Vietnam, Venezuela and Egypt emerged as the least transparent markets.

Ranking for the study was based on five attributes of real estate transparency - availability of investment performance indices, availability of market fundamentals data, listed vehicle financial disclosure and governance, regulatory and legal factors, and professional and ethical standards.

'Overall, two-thirds of the countries ranked in our 2004 study exhibited some or significant improvement,' said Dr Jacques Gordon, global investment strategist at LaSalle Investment Management, JLL's fund management arm.

'Some 14 countries moved up a full tier in our five-tier transparency ranking system and none slipped back. Additionally, many more countries earned higher transparency scores while remaining in the same tier.'