Purpose – The purpose of this study is to seek a further understanding of the issue of transparency in the residential property transaction market and to try to identify the state of transparency on the basis of a number of selected EU-countries: Sweden, Denmark, England and Wales, Germany, Poland, France and Spain, according to five dimensions, when carrying out cross-border housing transactions. The hypothesis is that the EU is far from transparent in this respect, and that the road to transparency will be long and winding. The purpose is also to identify the steps that are needed to enhance the transparency.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based the studies of written sources on the seven countries with respect to these five dimensions. Both primary sources such as legislation, and secondary sources such as literature, reports and information on the webpages of those countries, the home pages of professional branch organisations and other authorities, have been studied. A multiple case study research strategy is applied.
Findings – Based on this study, the state of transparency is identified. The essential points are that some of the aspects analysed in the study are far from transparent while others may be considered as relatively transparent. The extent to which the Internal Market may be considered as transparent is related in some way to the definition given to transparency. Something may be considered as transparent based on certain criteria but not on others, particularly when the concept is a relative one and subject to changes. The study raises certain key aspect as a basis for a discussion on encouraging transparency. The study indicates that a primary objective in seeking to improve transparency would be for Denmark to remove rules on the ownership of holiday homes, which make it difficult to acquire a secondary home in Denmark.
Originality/value – The study addresses the issues of transparency in real property transactions by providing an analysis of various aspects of a transaction.
2011. , 162 p.
Residential transaction, housing market, real estate/property transaction, transparency.