Macau scores poorly in real estate transparency

Macau continues to perform poorly in terms of real estate transparency, according to a new report authored by real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), with the territory weighed down in particular by its sustainability score.
The Macau SAR ranked 58 in the 2020 Global Real Estate Transparency Index Rankings, showing only a minor improvement over last year. Overall, the local property market was deemed slightly less transparent than Saudi Arabia (57) and Vietnam (56), and slightly more transparent than Argentina (59) and Egypt (60).
Macau’s latest ranking in the report puts it well behind Hong Kong (15), Taiwan (23) and the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Beijing (32).
Analyzed by category, Macau scored highly in terms of “market fundamentals,” “regulatory and legal matters” and “transaction processes.” However, the city scored less well in the categories of “investment performance,” “listed vehicles” and “sustainability.”
Last year, residential property transactions in Macau fell by 23.5% in year-on-year terms, while transaction values plunged 26.5%.
The mixed bag result meant Macau climbed only two places from the previous report and continues to be classified as a “semi-transparent” jurisdiction.
JLL’s guidance for countries and territories in this transparency bracket is to address issues around corporate governance and regulatory enforcement.
The neighboring territory of Hong Kong was placed 15 in the ranking and scored highly in all of the categories except for sustainability. Along with Singapore and Japan, Hong Kong remains on the cusp of becoming a “highly transparent” jurisdiction, according to the JLL assessment.
Notably, the 2020 report found that mainland China’s leading cities are transitioning to the “transparent” tier. The two cities of Shanghai and Beijing together ranked 32 on the most recent list, just behind Luxembourg, but ahead of Thailand. According to JLL, the ranking reflects continual advances in the property markets of these two cities, highlighted by their improved market fundamentals data and more coordinated land-use planning.
However, the same report noted that there remains a large disparity in real estate transparency levels within the country.
Assessing the change in transparency for the 99 countries and territories surveyed in the 2020 Index, JLL Chief Executive Officer Christian Ulbrich said that “improvements to real estate transparency are being made across the globe, but overall progress is still not fast enough for a society demanding higher ethical standards.”
“As governments, businesses and communities grapple with the impacts of Covid-19, the pandemic has brought the issues of transparency and trust into even sharper focus. During times of such uncertainty, the need for transparent processes and accurate, timely data becomes more important than ever,” Ulbrich noted in the report.

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