India has improved its ranking by one notch to 35th in the global real estate transparency index, driven by policy reforms and liberalisation of FDI rules in property as well as retail sectors, realty consultant JLL said.
India was ranked 36th in the index during the last bi-annual survey conducted in 2016 and 40th in 2014. The country's real estate market is currently placed in the 'semi-transparent' zone.
The ranking is expected to improve further in the next survey in 2020, on the back of several government initiatives such as Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA), GST and Benami Transactions Act, JLL India's CEO and Country Head Ramesh Nair said.
According to the survey, UK is at the top position followed by Australia and the US. France, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland and Sweden are in top 10 in the list of 100 countries.
Sri Lanka is at the 66th position and Pakistan at 75th among south Asian countries. Venezuela is the least transparent market with 100th rank.
JLL said that India has emerged as one of the top ten countries to register maximum improvement in transparency in real estate over the last two years.
Among BRICS nations, the consultant said that both China and South Africa remained on the same rank 33rd and 21st, respectively, while, Brazil slipped to 37th position and Russia remained at 38th rank.
"India's improvement in the transparency scores across all markets has started to benefit the nation in the form of increased volumes of international capital being deployed into the country," Nair said.
He attributed the improvement in ranking to better market fundamentals, policy reforms and liberalisation of FDI into realty and retail sectors.
The strengthening of information in public domain, digitisation of property records and according 'industry status' to affordable housing also helped in higher ranking.
"Private equity (PE) investments into realty sector is one of the best indicators of the confidence of the investor community and the confidence is closely linked with the transparency of the property markets and improvement in transparency," Nair said.
PE investment in Indian real estate sector has grown from USD 2.2 billion in 2014 to USD 4.7 billion in 2015, to USD 6.9 billion in 2016 and it was USD 6.3 billion in 2017.
"The country's ranking is likely to improve further in 2020, mainly on the back of the comprehensive implementation of RERA in all states, introduction of insurance policies for Land Title Insurance, pseudo-ownership of properties weeded out through Benami Transactions Act and the sector aligning itself well with Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime," he added.
The JLL's index measures transparency by looking at factors including data availability its authenticity and accuracy, governance of public agencies as well as stakeholders of the realty sector, transaction processes and costs associated with those, and the regulatory and legal environment.