Southeast Asia, home to over 600 million people with a fast growing middle-income population, isn’t generally known for its transparent markets but the region has made improvements in the real estate industry in recent years, according to the JLL 2016 Global Real Estate Transparency Index.
Among the sub-regions in Asia Pacific, Southeast Asia has the widest variation between the highest and lowest transparency scores, which means that the region offers a diverse investment landscape with varying degree of transparency to meet different risk appetites. “This is to be expected given the wide divergence in economic and urban growth across South East Asia – from the transparent developed economy of Singapore to opaque and developing Myanmar,” says Dr Chua Yang Lang, JLL’s Head of Research for Southeast Asia.
Half of South East Asian countries surveyed fall within the same semi-transparent group and these include Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia. “Overall, the Semi-Transparent group is undergoing major structural change, making it the group with the most rapid progress in real estate transparency,” says Dr Chua. “These countries could improve their transparency standing by further improving on their transactional processes and regulatory environment, as well as on the provision of information.”
A transparent real estate industry plays an important role in attracting investment, stimulating business activity and improving quality of life. While the ease of investing in transparent markets cannot be overemphasised, non-transparent markets offer a less competitive environment for investors.
JLL provides a snapshot of the state of transparency and the clarity of business process in some of the countries in the region in this slideshow.