Australia at second spot in transparent real estate market index

Jul 2016 - News

The ease of doing business in Australia, with its stable and transparent regulatory and legal system, strong ethical governance and high professional standards, has led to a significant rise in foreign capital inflows for the residential and commercial sectors, according to JLL.

The world’s 10 most transparent markets account for 75 per cent of global direct investment into commercial real estate and are home to nearly half the world’s 2000 largest public companies. Australia has moved up one notch to second place.

The United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and the United States hold the top positions, while the low transparency and opaque categories are dominated by parts of Africa, Asia and South and Central America, which are deemed “development” economies.

The desire for countries that offer good business conduct was borne out by the recent revelations of the Panama Papers, which, property agents and investors say, have led to mounting pressure for greater real estate transparency.

Global uncertainty caused by the recent Brexit​ vote is also drawing cash out of Britain to other parts of the world, in the short term, including Australia, despite the uncertainty caused by the recent federal election, where no party has yet claimed victory.

In a report from JLL, it says this had “put the fight against corruption decisively on the international political agenda”.

In its latest JLL Transparency Index, compiled every two years, foreign investors accounted for a record 42 per cent of investment into the Australian commercial property market in 2015, or about $31 billion. This percentage is about double the 10-year annual average.

The global index measures transparency by looking at factors including market data availability, governance, transaction processes, property rights and the regulatory and legal environment across 109 countries.

JLL head of Australasian research Dr David Rees said that as capital allocations to real estate grew, investors were  demanding further improvements in transparency. He said Australia maintained its position as the “gateway into Asia Pacific and the fast growing south-east Asian economies”, which is attractive for non-Asian investors.

“Technology is allowing a more forensic assessment of real estate market patterns, allowing for greater analysis of transparency levels across markets while the rapid growth of cross-border investment means that investors place a big premium on accurate and timely information,” he said.

As capital allocations to real estate grow, investors are demanding further improvements in transparency, even among the world’s most regulated real estate markets.

“Transparency is very high in Australia for a numbers of reasons.  In comparison with many markets in the region, Australia also has a strong legal framework to define and protect property rights and an open and established bidding process,” Dr Rees said.




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