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France is the most transparent market in Continental Europe

Paris, 25 June 2014 – In the 2014 classification of real estate market transparency (Global Real Estate Transparency Index), France moved up two places compared to the previous  2012 survey and achieved 5th place out of 102 countries. Considered as "highly transparent”, the French market is number 1 in continental Europe ahead of the Netherlands (7th) and Ireland (9th) whereas Germany was placed 12th in the world rankings. France was also top of the non-Anglo-Saxon countries in the ranking.

“Even though France has been one of the leading countries for many years (France joined the top 10 most transparent markets in 2006), 5th place is the highest position the French market has achieved”, explains Virginie Houzé, Head of Research at JLL in France.

“In terms of sustainable development, the French market was once again on the podium alongside Australia and England”, adds Virginie Houzé

The improvement in France’s 2014 ranking was due in particularly to technological improvements, such as “open data”, which have strengthened transparency in terms of understanding market fundamentals. Examples include the State’s approach to publishing certain information from real estate tax files and the emergence of crowdsourcing platforms that provide publicly available collaborative databases.

Over the last 15 years, France has moved from the status of 'transparent market' to 'highly transparent' due to general improvement across the board. Some scores have seen a marked improvement over 15 years, such as the availability of market data, due in particular to initiatives such as Immostat, whereas others have seen little change. Transparency around financing remains low in France due to the lack of reliable and accessible data for debt:  volume issued, finance terms, maturity dates, etc. It’s also worth noting that, even though France is on the podium, France did lose 1st place in the “Transaction process” category due to tax instability which particularly affects real estate markets. If France is to secure one of the top podium spots, there are still some areas for improvement over the coming years.

The notion of transparency is a key factor in competition between the main global investment markets. It is a major factor in shaping a market’s appeal as well as its ability to attract the increasing volumes of international capital. As a result, of the US$136 billion invested in real estate in Q1 2014 worldwide, $51 billion was allocated to Europe compared to “only” $23 billion to Asia – European market transparency was certainly a contributing factor.

The 8th edition of the Global Real-Estate Transparency Index, which has been running for 15 years, measures the level of transparency in 102 countries. The index is divided into 5 categories: real estate market performance measures (public indices, evaluation methods), access to market data (public databases, availability of historical data, geographic coverage by product), governance of listed companies, legislation (planning, contract law, taxation) and transaction processes (quality of information, sales process). 115 questions are used to assess each market.