2022 Index highlights and top improvers

Global Real Estate Transparency Index, 2022

During these times of heightened uncertainty, transparency is more important than ever as the foundation which allows real estate occupiers, investors and lenders to operate and make decisions with confidence. 

Introducing the Global Real Estate Transparency Index

Through twelve editions of the Index spanning over two decades, JLL and LaSalle’s Transparency 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, lenders, developers and occupiers of real estate – as well as government and industry bodies looking for international benchmarks.

This article is part of JLL’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index

The 2022 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 156 cities in 94 countries and territories, presenting a uniquely global picture of real estate transparency.

What does the 2022 Index tell us?

The 2022 Index reveals a widening transparency gap between the most transparent countries and the rest. The highly transparent markets are forging ahead on the back of technology adoption, climate action, capital markets diversification and regulatory change. Meanwhile, many other markets are treading water, even regressing, or in some cases, regrettably disappearing off the radar.

The top ranks continue to be held by the Anglophone countries, with the UK and U.S. taking the first and second positions. European markets have made the most progress on average since 2020 and now account for six of the twelve ‘Highly Transparent’ countries. Japan also joins the top tier for the first time, boosted by initiatives to enhance climate risk reporting and meet sustainability targets as well as improvements in data availability, particularly for alternative sectors like life sciences, self-storage and senior housing.

The highest-ranked tiers of ‘Highly Transparent’ and ‘Transparent’ markets are leading advances globally, with France, the U.S., Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Canada and Belgium among the top improvers. These markets are setting new standards and expectations for transparency as they push ahead with new sustainability initiatives, raise the bar for anti-money laundering (AML) and beneficial ownership reporting and provide deeper data on everything from office utilization rates to niche sectors, supported by the rapid uptake of technology. Countries in lower tiers will now need to advance much faster to catch up with these new, even higher benchmarks. 

Elsewhere, the UAE markets of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the top global improvers in 2022, benefitting from a concerted government focus on increasing market transparency. These changes have helped to push Dubai into the ‘Transparent’ category for the first time. India is also among the leading improvers, with institutional investment and the growing numbers of REITs helping to increase market data, greater professionalization of the sector, regulatory initiatives like the Model Tenancy Act, and digitization of land registries.

What’s next for real estate transparency?

Our survey reveals emerging pressure that will reshape the landscape of transparency as the real estate industry navigates an age of disruption: 

  • Harmonization and alignment – there is a pressing need for greater harmonization and alignment across the real estate industry in sustainability initiatives, regulatory environments, technologies and data frameworks.

  • Enhancing climate resilience – with examples of unprecedented climate impacts already evident, attention is turning to ensuring that standards are in place to provide clarity around making cities, urban planning frameworks and buildings more resilient to future risks.

  • Supporting positive health and social outcomes – many companies are now focusing more strategically on the Social and Governance aspects of their business, and further regulations and metrics to enhance and provide guidelines for these goals across the sector are likely.