Why are property rights important?

Property rights are among the most fundamental principles, enshrined in Article 17 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and constitutionally protected in most states. Despite this worldwide legal recognition of the importance of property rights to building peaceful, democratic, and prosperous societies, access to and protection of property rights vary greatly in practice. In many countries understanding of property rights often remains limited to property titles, without deeper appreciation of the underlying and interconnected institutions that make property rights meaningful and allow property markets to function.


What is the International Property Markets Scorecard?

The International Property Markets Scorecard is a tool jointly developed by the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and the International Real Property Foundation (IRPF) in order to map the institutional components of property markets and evaluate their effectiveness. The Scorecard provides a methodology for property market system analysis to investigate the six core elements necessary for sustainable property market development:

  • property rights laws and enforcement,
  • access to credit,
  • efficiency of governance,
  • rational dispute resolution,
  • financial transparency,
  • appropriate regulations.

The Scorecard is a tool for in-country reformers, international policy advisors, and market analysts. It provides comprehensive snapshots of market conditions, identifying key areas for reform as well as market risks. The Scorecard can be used for research, comparative country studies, and evaluating the opportunities for investment, among many other uses.

About Us

The International Property Markets Scorecard is a joint initiative between:


The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) strengthens democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform. CIPE is one of the four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy. Since 1983, CIPE has worked with business leaders, policymakers, and journalists to build the civic institutions vital to a democratic society. CIPE’s key program areas include anticorruption, advocacy, business associations, corporate governance, democratic governance, access to information, the informal sector and property rights, and women and youth. www.cipe.org



The International Real Property Rights Foundation (IRPF) works  to assist in the creation of free, efficient, transparent and equitable real estate markets anchored to private property rights; to help develop civil society by establishing an ethical and trained real estate profession committed to protection of the public and organized into representative real property associations; and to promote real property ownership as a key element of strong democracies and poverty alleviation. www.irpf.org


IHC Global is an independent, non-profit global membership coalition of  organizations, businessesand individuals  engaged in urban development worldwide.  IHC Global serves its members through advocacy and awareness;  policy and practice-focused research; and sharing of good practice. IHC’s membership includes NGOs, civil society organizations, private sector companies, corporations, and associations.  It also is open to individuals who support equitable urban development and sustainable, inclusive cities.


William Endsley, the lead consultant on the International Property Markets Scorecard project, is the Principal Consultant for World Citizen Consulting and has over fifteen years experience in developing international market strategy and has traveled throughout the Americas, Asia, Europe and North Africa working to develop professionals in the finance and real estate sector as a means for broader economic development and global security. He is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University and has guest lectured at Johns Hopkins and George Washington University. He previously served as the Secretary General of FIABCI-USA, the International Real Estate Federation – US Chapter.