New JLL research shows Chicago leads in real estate transparency

  • Real estate transparency at a city level

    Real estate transparency at a city level Courtesy of JLL

Posted8/12/2022 4:35 PM

According to new research from JLL, Chicago leads in real estate transparency, making it poised for future real estate transactions.

JLL Chicago's international director and head of its Business and Economic Incentives practice, Meredith O'Connor, explains why:


"Many U.S. cities are implementing clear, long-term standards through local laws and construction codes. In addition to government initiatives, this helps our communities make progress toward sustainability goals. Chicago ranks within the top 20 markets pertaining to clarity around sustainability commitments and standards. The Updated Illinois Energy Conservation Code (2021 IECC with IL Amendments) is expected to be effective on Oct. 1. Once approved, this means code-compliant office buildings in Chicago, following ASHRAE 90.1-2019, will be at the same performance level as a typical LEED v4 Platinum building. This is a great step forward for our community. We hope to see further improvement in not only the Chicago market but other U.S.-based markets in next year's report."

Chicago joins other U.S. cities such as Washington DC, San Francisco and New York in the top 20 list according to JLL's 12th edition of its Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI), a biennial report (attached) that provides benchmark data related to market transparency for property investors, developers and corporate occupiers.

The change of progress in availability and quality of real estate data is largely fueled by:

Technology and digitization -- Modern data management tools are allowing providers, investors and corporations to understand their portfolios and markets in more detail than ever before, while data aggregators are using technology to gather, aggregate and analyze previously scattered data or collate information from listings websites, particularly for niche sectors.

Enhanced tracking of alternative sectors -- Transparency in these niche sectors is still significantly lower than for more established asset types, but with data providers continuing to deepen and split out their coverage of these sectors and new data aggregation technologies being applied, we expect transparency in alternatives to continue spreading to new geographies and asset types in the coming years

Broader geographic coverage -- Investors and corporate occupiers are increasingly looking to secondary and tertiary cities, or beyond 'core' submarkets within established investment destinations that have robust demand or talent potential, and to new countries as niche asset types develop in these markets.

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