Kenya ranked among most transparent countries

Kenya was ranked under ‘semi-transparent’ category at number 53 with a score of 3.29 points, while South Africa which led the pack in Africa was ranked at position 21 with a score of 2.21. Nigeria was ranked with a score of 3.73 at number 67 and was ranked under the low-transparent category. Botswana closely followed South Africa at number 45 with a score of 3.06 and was second on the sub-Saharan Africa list. Mauritius was ranked at position 51 and Ghana came at 76. While Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia came at positions 84, 90 and 92 respectively.

The sub-Saharan Africa region has seen limited progress with improvements led by the regional hub of Kenya and Nigeria. Reports indicated that the valuation standards are now following international practices. Market data availability continues to improve as transaction processes get better. Kenya’s improved ratings in the multi-billion real estate industry were supported by greater data availability and improved transaction process. The 10th edition report dubbed Global Real Estate Transparency Index 2018 by Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL), shows that Kenya has seen little improvement in the real estate transparency ranking.

The Kenyan ranking is an improvement after the 2012 index ranked Kenya for the first time, but in the same ‘semi-transparency’ category but at 65 out of 97 countries. The top ranks internationally were dominated by the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States took position 1,2 and 3 respectively. 

The report also put the transparency category into five sections; highly transparent, transparent, semi-transparent, low transparency and opaque. The rise of alternative sectors, strong investor demand, the combination of proptech and open-data initiatives have boosted transparency, the index said. The index contains a comprehensive country comparison of data availability, transaction processes, property rights, governance and the regulatory/legal environment around the world. 

Real Estate & Sustainability Consultant & Analyst East Africa JLL, Wangari Muchiri said that there has been a lot of progression since the last ranking index in 2016. This was contributed due to land offices going digital, sustainability of the city, roads and connectivity. 

A significant factor in creating healthy real estate markets is the increasing achievement and transparency in the industry. Various legislative initiatives have kept the issues of tax evasion, corruption and transparency in property ownership in the spotlight. Government data initiatives have been important in rising transparency levels in Kenya.