Singapore has dropped two places to 16th place in a transparency ranking of major property markets worldwide.

The position of the city-state in the latest Global Real Estate Transparency Index compiled by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) has dropped because scores of other countries improved, while Singapore’s stayed the same.

The country scored 1.73, placing it at the 14th place last year. However, with the same score this year, the country has taken the 16th spot after most of the European countries including France, Ireland and Sweden improved their scores.

Based on the index, Australia is now the most transparent property market in the world. New Zealand, which is ranked fourth worldwide, and Australia are the most transparent property markets in the Asia-Pacific region, followed by Singapore and Hong Kongranked 18th globally.

China and India have the greatest improvements in transparency in the region.

“The great improvement for China and India has been mainly due to increased data availability and ongoing regulatory changes,” said Jane Murray, head of JLL’s research  for Asia-Pacific.

In both markets, the recent improvement in the property market contributed to its position in the transparency ranking, as both private and public sector players have adopted measures to promote transparency according toDr. Murray.“International corporate occupiers and investors are increasingly demanding better information on market fundamentals, while government agencies and market regulators have made slow but steady progress on the regulatory and legal front,” she said.Meanwhile, Hong Kong and Singapore are classified as “transparent” but not “highly transparent” because the two markets still have room for improvement in two areas, said Dr. Murray, citing the lack of investment performance indices in both nations as an example.

For the first time after the worldwide recession, the index assessed the transparency of the property debt markets in terms of the depth and breadth of data available on commercial property debt.

Factors that were considered include outstanding balances, defaults and maturities, as well as how systematically property debt on the bank’s balance sheets is monitored. Singapore performed well in this area, getting a high score for its legal and regulatory environment.

Alastair Hughes, CEO of JLL for the Asia-Pacific, said that one of the main concerns for international property investors is where to put their capital safely.

The index helps occupiers and investors in foreign markets to predict challenges according to Mr. Hughes. It also helps industry organisations and governments by providing them a gauge to help enhance transparency in their home markets.