Real estate regulations are on the up, but are they enough?

New regulations have been improving the transparency of global real estate, a boon for investors increasingly branching out into new markets.

On paper, the progress looks promising.

Countries from Colombia to South Korea have introduced policies aimed at reducing red tape, curbing corruption and improving legal processes on everything from sustainability to land-use planning.

Canada is targeting sustainability. Thailand is taking steps to upgrade its property taxation system and digitize its land registry. Macau has cracked down on money laundering.

The efforts have followed mounting concerns among investors and the public after the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers leaks, which exposed the murkier side of the property sector. The UK’s proposed beneficial ownership register and the European Union’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive were explicit reactions to the revelations.

But the true benefit of these regulations is more nuanced, because in some cases, enforcement has been falling short, according to

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