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Stronger real estate markets can help US economy grow, says UN advisory group

Published: 18 January 2013

Secure and well-protected property rights and accurate and accessible information for lenders and borrowers can promote economic growth. This was the main message from the 15 January 2013 forum, “UNECE Policy Framework for Sustainable Real Estate Markets: Sound rules to improve the real estate sector and promote economic growth” held in Washington D.C.. The forum was organized by the UNECE Real Estate Market Advisory Group (REM) in cooperation with the United States chapter of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI).

Speakers highlighted the importance of proper risk assessments for lenders and investors.  They also discussed the need for independent, educated and competent professionals to rate risk. They said that increased foreign direct investment was important for many economies, including United States. And some mentioned the importance of looking at alternative methods of financing to bring investment funds to real estate. 

Participants included representatives of the United States government, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Department of State, academia, and national and international organizations, including the Appraisal Institute, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Counselors of Real Estate (CRE). 

The participants exchanged views on the UNECE publication Policy Framework for Sustainable Real Estate Markets, which provides guidelines for real estate market regulation, and discussed how these guidelines could be applied in the United States.

The UNECE offers policy advice, facilitates the exchange of best practices among its 56 member States and sets up model technical projects to promote sustainable housing and land management, including efficient real estate markets.

As a conclusion to the Forum, participants issued a joint statement highlighting the importance of a risk rating system for stable and secure real estate markets, “The evaluation of real estate market risk is an integral part of the safety and soundness of the entire global financial system… We believe that the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Policy Framework and the Real Estate Market Advisory Group working paper offer valuable insights in this regard.”

For more information, please contact:

Michael A. Milligan
Economic Affairs Officer
Housing and Land Management Unit
Telephone: +41 (0)22 917 13 57

Note to editors

The UNECE Real Estate Market Advisory Group (REM) is an advisory body to the UNECE Committee on Housing and Land Management and the Working Party on Land Administration. The goals of the Group are to:

Provide practical advice on the challenges linked to improving the environment for real estate investments, real estate markets and housing development;

Develop and promote policy frameworks that support sustainable real estate markets including best practices in promoting investment in national real estate sectors in individual countries;

Undertake relevant studies and advisory missions, organize seminars and training workshops, draft policy models and guidelines, collect data, and provide information and training kits;

Assist countries in training and capacity-building within the real estate and land administration sectors

Please see more information on the Advisory Group at http://www.unece.org/housing-and-land-management/about-us/real-estate-market-advisory-group-rem.html

Information on the Forum is also available at http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=31682

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Palais des Nations, 

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44

Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05