Edito et opinion

2020 transparency survey - key highlights

Global Real Estate Transparency Index, 2020

The 2020 edition of JLL and LaSalle’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index is launched at a time of massive economic and societal disruption. As governments, businesses and communities grapple with the impacts of COVID-19, the pandemic has brought the issues of transparency and trust into sharp focus. During times of such uncertainty, the need for transparent processes and accurate, timely data becomes more important than ever.

Introducing the Global Real Estate Transparency Index

Through eleven editions spanning over two decades, the Index has become established as the industry’s most widely used benchmark for assessing market transparency and is an essential guide for cross-border investors, developers and occupiers of real estate – as well as government and industry bodies looking for international benchmarks.

The 2020 Index covers a wide range of topics that determine how transparent a real estate market is, from investment performance benchmarks and market data to transaction processes and sustainability metrics. This latest edition covers 163 cities in 99 countries and territories, presenting a uniquely global picture of real estate transparency.

What does the 2020 Index tell us?

The 2020 Index reveals that transparency is progressing across most countries and territories, but overall improvement is the weakest since the period directly following the Global Financial Crisis.

With growing pressure from investors, businesses and consumers, real estate transparency will need to improve further and faster to compete with other asset classes and meet heightened expectations about the industry’s role in providing a sustainable and resilient built environment.

The leading Anglophone countries continue to dominate the top ranks, with the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States taking the top three positions. However, several Western European markets including France, Germany and Sweden are catching up. Transparency has been boosted in these ‘Highly Transparent’ markets by a combination of proptech and new data, sustainability initiatives, anti-money laundering regulations and enhanced tracking of alternatives sectors.

Asia Pacific markets have led advances globally, with many of the top improvers concentrated in South and Southeast Asia. India has made most progress in the region, while in Southeast Asia Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia are all among the top 10 improvers. Mainland China has also continued to advance, with its leading cities, Shanghai and Beijing, entering the ‘Transparent’ tier for the first time.

Transparency vs Investment

Explore the relationship between real estate transparency and investment, hover over a market to see where it ranks in terms of its transparency level, investment market size and 3-year investment volumes. Bubble size is based on GDP PPP.

What’s next for real estate transparency?

The survey also reveals new pressures emerging that will reshape the landscape of transparency as the real estate industry responds to this period of disruption:

  • A fast-changing legal and regulatory environment, as hastily enacted regulations intended to address the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic introduce a new layer of complexity.
  • The imperative to tackle climate change and build a significantly decarbonized economy as the real estate industry comes under pressure to transform to a net zero carbon and resilient future.
  • Health and wellness rising to the fore, with an elevated awareness of personal and environmental hygiene, health, work-life balance and social relations.
  • The mass adoption of technology, with proptech platforms and digital tools boosting the volume of data available.