PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: Propertymark and net-zero | Bitcoin property transactions

Andrew Stanton’s daily Property News Briefing in association with Estate Agent Networking.

What PRS preparations are needed to achieve net-zero by 2050?

Recently, a webinar led by Kate Gregory, the London representative of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), brought industry experts together to discuss the challenges and benefits of the PRS. On the panel were Gavin Dick (NRLA), Jonathan Werran (Localis), and Timothy Douglas (Propertymark).

The illuminating webinar brought forth a host of statistics from a report issued by Localis, to further add to the worry over achieving net-zero by 2050. For example, the session revealed that while 90% of homes in England use fossil fuels, we’re currently achieving just shy of 10% of net-zero targets.

Whatever way you slice it, or in the case of the government, spin it, at this rate achieving net-zero by 2050 is set to be an uphill battle.

The role landlords play in achieving the target was also tabled at the session. An alarming statistic was brought forth to show the desperate need for support from local authorities and the higher ups; two-thirds of housing stock is expected to get an EPC rating of D or lower. The government expects this to be band C by 2025.

In a blog post summarising the webinar, Propertymark stated: “UK Government’s failure to factor in huge regional variations in property prices when incentivising homeowners and landlords to retrofit their properties to meet national net-zero targets could risk seeing a reduction in the quality and availability of housing stock.”

So, is it realistic to expect landlords to rise to this challenge and do their bit in the quest for net-zero? Should funding be put in place to support the drive?

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From pizza to property, Bitcoin goes commercial 

In May 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz, a programmer from Florida, paid for two pizzas with Bitcoin. 10,000 of them, to be exact.

He was the first person to use Bitcoin in a commercial transaction and a lasting example as to why this cryptocurrency has a long way to go before it sees daily use for everyday items. 

At the time, Hanyecz’s 10,000 Bitcoins were worth a shade over $40, but just nine short months after he purchased the pizzas, the cryptocurrency drew level with the US dollar. That meant that the two pizzas were worth $10,000.

In 2015, the two pizzas would be valued at $2.4 million. Today, they’d be worth a staggering $570 million.

Hanyecz with his children, and two pizzas now worth $570 million.

So, shifting from pizza to property, three retail properties in Manhattan have been put on the market recently, targeted exclusively to Bitcoin holders. It is believed that these will be the first commercial properties to be purchased with a cryptocurrency.

Speaking to Yahoo Finance, Ben Shaoul, managing partner of Magnum Real Estate Group, said: “There’s a demand for real estate and there’s nothing being offered to the holders of crypto. Our idea is to offer something that’s unique and try to pair the holders of crypto with those who want to sell real estate.”

Shaoul is no stranger to crypto real estate transactions. In 2018, he did three retail deals in Bitcoin, including an Upper East Side retail development for $15.3 million worth of the currency.

But, ultimately, will it stick around as a long-term alternative to fiat currency?

With fears about the regulation of crypto persisting, some see purchasing high-value goods with Bitcoin as a potential avenue for money launders and criminals.

However, for legitimate investors, dumping a cryptocurrency famous for its volatility and unpredictability into a (relatively) stable asset like property might be considered the smart thing to do. If not now, maybe in hindsight.

Who knows…maybe Bitcoin will crash one day and be worth less than the price of two pizzas.

Andrew Stanton is the founder and CEO of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder and editor of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.

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