NZ fourth globally for real estate market transparency

12:38 PM Saturday June 28, 2014 Colin Taylor

New Zealand has been placed fourth in the world in the "highly transparent" category of JLL's biennial Global Real Estate Transparency report (Greti).

To compile the 8th edition of the report teams of researchers from JLL and LaSalle Investment Management work together to assess the transparency of 102 markets worldwide. Justin Kean, JLL's national director of research and consulting says New Zealand joined the "highly transparent" category in 2004.

"Since then New Zealand has managed to remain in the top ranks for its complex level of legal and regulatory enforcement, financial disclosure, fairness of transaction processes, access to high-quality market data and performance benchmarks," says Kean.

He says Greti was first published in 1999 and is the only index to address the transparency of commercial real estate globally.

"Through producing this index, JLL are able to help their investors, corporate occupiers and retailers anticipate challenges of transacting, owning or operating in a foreign market.

"It also provides a gauge for governments and industry organisations to improve transparency in home markets."

Nick Hargreaves, managing director of JLL says a lot of interest is received from foreign investors located in countries with "a more opaque" level of transparency. "These investors are actively looking to engage in the New Zealand market because of its high level of commercial real estate transparency and professional standard of agents," Hargreaves says.

The Greti report reveals that the world's most transparent ranks continue to be dominated by highly liquid English-speaking markets.

In top position in the report was the United Kingdom which just inched past the United States, pushing the USA to second place, while Australia, New Zealand and Canada sit in third, fourth and sixth place respectively.

France has moved into fifth position as its government embraces a policy of "open data" overtaking the Netherlands (seventh) as the most transparent market in Continental Europe. Ireland's position is eighth and Finland ninth.

With an influx of corporate occupiers, the region's top-rising economies are moving to encourage more global real estate interest.

Hargreaves says key drivers of global transparency improvement include:

• Recognition by governments that poor transparency affects investment and quality of life.

• Media spotlighting corruption, scandals and building accidents.

• A rise in cross-border investments fuelled by more robust real estate markets.

• Pushing "open data" and sustainability practices up the agenda.

The bottom five countries cited in the transparency report are Ethiopia, Mongolia, Burma, Senegal and Libya.