IN THE YEAR 2000, the Appraisal Institute had 47 members outside North America. Today we have 161 international members working in most major populated areas including Nairobi, Kenya; Tartu, Estonia; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. During the last three years, we presented 30 education programs to over 700 students in five different countries. Every month a real estate professional from overseas visits either the home office in Chicago, or attends an offering of the Education Network. What could possibly be bringing these people to our door?
While language, customs, culture and laws differ from country to country, the common thread that motivates people outside the United States to seek the resources of the Appraisal Institute is the need to understand market value and the desire to bring economic stability through vibrant real property markets to their part of the world.
Hernando de Soto, in his recent book, The Mystery of capital, wrote: 'What distinguishes a good legal property system is that it is 'mind friendly.' It obtains and organizes knowledge about recorded assets in forms we can control, It collects, integrates and coordinates not only data on assets and their potential but also our thoughts about them. A good legal property system is a medium that allows us to understand each other, make connections, and synthesize knowledge about our assets to enhance our productivity."
Only recently have the arbiters of globalization, led by de Soto, begun to turn their attention to the intricacies of U.S. real property markets and the difficulty of exporting those systems to developing economies.
Market value is one of the cornerstones of such systems as well as Appraisal Institute education and the International Valuation Standards, yet many countries still rely heavily on the cost approach and land price indexes issued by their governments.
Even such large global institutions as The World Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are just beginning to integrate development of real property markets into economic and financial sector development projects. In examining some of the causes of the market collapses in Asia and other parts of the world and the ability of various economies to recover, Michael Pomerleano, a leading financial specialist at The World Bank, found that in Japan and Thailand, the lack of expert valuers hindered rapid valuations and transparent market transactions. This...