UK/Canadian Solar Incentives and the Burgeoning Real Estate Market

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It’s Expensive… So Why Bother?

Our brothers and sisters in British Columbia have brought powerful information to the table that will resonate here in the UK for anyone looking to upgrade their real estate investment.  Over the course of the past few years, it was iffy as to whether solar was going to make such a powerful difference in the ability to market your properties.  The tide now seems to be shifting towards an ability to use solar energy here in the UK and abroad not only for environmental reasons but economic as well.

For the last 5 years, Canadian manufacturers have canceled, terminated and effectively destroyed the hopes of all Canadian residents of having cost-effective residential solar power. In a move that sparked fierce debate, legislators and officials of the Canadian government opted to put a permanent halt on Chinese-based solar paneling.

The Case in British Columbia and how it translates to us

For the last 5 years, Canadian manufacturers have canceled, terminated and effectively destroyed the hopes of all Canadian residents of having cost-effective residential solar power. In a move that sparked fierce debate, legislators and officials of the Canadian government opted to put a permanent halt on Chinese-based solar paneling.

While it had good intentions the results were anything but positive, solar prices skyrocketed and within a year’s time the amount of residents choosing solar power plummeted.  The Canadian public was quick to react and within 4 short months, a special hearing conducted on May 21st at Parliament Hill decided to not only allow Chinese based imports but to also provide additional subsidies for all Canadian residents who choose to go solar.

In a recent interview with Ottawa’s leading solar installer and provider Solar Panels Ontario, Sean Sergio we got a first-hand glimpse as to why the Canadian government had done such an 180 on their previous decision, “the idea to simply cut out Chinese imports was extremely myopic and ignorant.  Not only where Canadian producers incapable of meeting the demand, but they weren’t trained to scale their operations. The Chinese manufacturers have scaling down to a science and without that, there is no possible way Ottawa-based solar paneling manufacturers would have any way to compete”

With the sudden surplus of Chinese-produced solar panels, homes throughout Ontario have taken to solar like never before. Combined with the canSIA and MicroFIT programs, Ontario is now leading the country in solar energy installs. As of last year over 21,021 homes have opted to have some sort of solar paneling installed.


The Companies Lobbying for Positioning

MicroFIT offers generous incentive power generating programs where residents basically turn their own homes into solar stations. Excessive power and energy can be sold back to the grid at roughly half of their original price.  Some energy experts have seen a substation reduction in the amount of power required in certain areas.  This is surprising as the peak solar generation months also happen to be the peak energy usage months. Summertime air conditioning costs traditionally raise electrical bills by over 24 %.

This has even included solar water pumps, water heaters and other farming apparatus that can be effectively and safely powered via solar.  The resulting upswing of green energy usage has increased real estate prices by upwards of 2-3%. Rural homes equipped with solar devices, especially solar water heaters, have seen real estate increases of over 15%.

The End Result

While the rest of the world is still making up their mind about solar energy, residents of Ontario have taken the first major step forward in deciding how to budget their energy usage. Over the next 30 years, we believe that the global economy will make a major shift toward green energy and in particular networked-energy solutions, also known as the home generation of power.

Until then the Canadian real estate sector has seen a massive improvement from something you generally wouldn’t associate with bigger and better home evaluations – the sun.  As for now we here in the UK will be able to enjoy the benefits of such positions over the long run.  With the economy running the way it is, it’s an absolute must that we continue to look for economic benefits wherever we may.

Brexit: future housing statistics in political turmoil

Housing Turmoil under Brexit

The month-on-month loss took the average house rate to ₤ 214,678. The decline was the third this year and also largely balance out a 1.2% rise in June. Figures for a solitary month can be less than predictable and also Halifax focuses on quarterly trends, where growth is slowing down. Needless to say, the drop isn’t quite as bad as a Londoner might expect given the drop in our currency.

Home costs fell 1% last month after the vote passed to leave the European Union, a study by Halifax, Britain’s largest home loan lender had stated in a recent development profile.

Economists at the London Institute for Exchange and Value (LIEV) actually stated London prices might drop 38% as well as a cut in half in one of the most costly districts.  Should this happen London might be looking at a mild case of what happened to the United States in the early 2000s. Foxtons, as well as various other estate brokerages, have cautioned that company assets hit a quick decline given that the vote. However, LIEV said present growth prices showed up tough and that there was inadequate evidence of any kind of Brexit effect on home costs.  As of now, the entire thing is simply speculation.

In the 3 months up to the month of July, prices rose 1.9% from the previous three months, up from growth of 1.2% for the three months to June yet reduceable in comparison to earlier this year, LIEV claimed. The financial institution’s survey is in accordance with numbers from its rival Nationwide Associates UK a week ago that showed prices increasing 0.7% in July.

Reuben Douglas, LIEV’s real estate expert in-house, said: “There are indications that the housing rate growth is slowing with a tremendous decline in both the annual as well as monthly rates of increase in the past couple of weeks. It remains premature, and far too early to establish if there has actually been any actual impact on the housing market as an outcome of June’s European Union outcome.”

These type of information, of course, is easy to speculate on, but hard to digest.  As of current I own several properties in London and am very worried about the probability of taking such a loss.  I am trying to behave in a manner that will include a rationale in a moment where it seems our country is having a loss of strategic planning, and quite earnestly, ability to think straight.

Foreign real estate investing: texas


Recently I had the pleasure of helping a family relocate to Austin, Texas from London; it seems that the decision to exit the European Union was less than stellar for Charlotte DeVris and her family, and after losing her job as a lead computer engineer for IBM, she was forced to look elsewhere.  It’s obvious that the real estate and technology markets in unison have taken heavy losses in the UK all-together.  I’m not going to be surprised to see a lot more people following suit with the DeVris family.

So why on Earth, Texas?

Why people pick certain opportunities is beyond me, but I suppose sometimes they come in the places you would least expect.  Though strange they would decide to head to an area known for its conservative antics, the DeVris family moved to Austin where the technology industry hadn’t fallen flat on its face.  If you asked me a month ago would I ever be writing an article on the matter, or would I be considering purchasing real estate in Texas… I would have looked at you strangely as if the question was absurd and responded with a stiff but polite no.  What came from this experiment in helping the DeVris family move set of a chain of events that I am still scratching my head about.

The process

The process started as it usually does with our international buyers, slow and tedious with the need to facilitate the interaction through an agent licensed in Texas (or whatever country/state they are moving to). They found me through a friend and contacted me about buying a home in Austin, Texas. After an initial phone call or two I gathered enough information on what they might be looking for and got to the task of putting together a list of potential homes, or rentals, should they not find what they needed in time. Astoundingly, at the first go around the DeVris family found a home and put an offer on it.  Not typical of most clients, I was, needless to say, very happy with the luck of finding such committed buyers. What happened however, was astounding.   The home had already been sold, but for almost 12% above the asking price!  As we searched on and I did more and more research I realized that the issue with Austin was that there was a multitude of international buyers moving there, if not buying potential investment properties.  Austin, it appears, is the fastest growing market in the United States, and just like London, one must pay a premium over any asking price in order to make it a place to call your own.  What I then realized, was that I would need an agent as good as myself on the other end to help get the DeVris family what they needed.

Safety in numbers

Being that there are over 11,000 agents in Austin, I knew that the task of choosing the right one would be difficult, though maybe not quite as difficult as it would be in London, where the number according to The Office for National Statistics said that 562,000 men and women are real estate agents in the UK.  This would be a simple task I thought, so after shopping on google for several hours I found Sarah Williams when I wandered onto her website which can be found by clicking this link: Ranch Land for Sale in Texas and Surrounding Areas.  A young, but well-versed agent of the real estate game that had the appeal of someone I might like to deal with.  A half an hour on a Skype call with her and we were rapidly in business shopping for the DeVris family future residence.  Daily updates, as well as a charismatic undergoing, helped me feel secure she would be able to help us, and her knowledge about the statistics in the area led me to be astounded, to where I myself ended up agreeing to let her find me two investment condos for sale in Austin Tx.  Not something I had originally thought about doing, but once I heard that over the last year the average price in the market had gone up by 32.48% I figured it was a safe bet, and one I heard that rental prices were on average worth 42% above mortgage prices I was hooked.  Having money tied up here at home after Brexit didn’t seem to have the same perks that it used to, especially with taxes already being as high as they are, and the British pound taking a little more than just a hit economically.  My decision to invest abroad came through the happenstance of helping someone else find their next home, in a place that I had never been to, nor honestly, that I would care to visit.


The end result

By the fifteenth day of searching, Sarah and I had found the DeVris family a home on the outskirts of downtown, and myself a condo dead center, at the W Hotel…  which of course was more than I cared to spend, but as agents do, I was talked into it and more than happy to pay a premium.

During my interactions with the Sarah, comments were made to me a few times to the effect that agents in Austin don’t do nearly the amount of work we do here in London. I was curious about this and Sarah told me that she found it very difficult to find agents that would allocate set times to certain clients, especially when handling something that would be considered a split commission, even if at an international premium rate.

“Ah yes,” I responded, “But let’s remember that you also talked me into buying property I might never get the opportunity to go visit!”

She laughed and responded with thick Texan twang “Well, wait ‘til you get that first month’s rent check and thank me later!”

If you might be interested in looking into the foreign market, why not try Texas… I did.  If you have an interest in homes for sale Austin Tx, then click the link for more information. I would recommend her as excellent source in the market.

Pros and cons of renting and buying a home


Most people suffer from dilemma when deciding whether purchase a home or rent one. It is a crucial decision to make as it not only affects how much money you have left at the end of the month but your lifestyle as well. People buy a house as it’s an investment and it creates a permanent place for living. On the other hand, some people rent a house for flexibility and less responsibility. Here are the pros and cons of buying and renting a home.

Stability compared to flexibility


There are many intangible benefits associated with home ownership. It gives you a sense of security and pride of ownership. But if you are restless, buying a home is not a good option for you. Home is not a liquid asset, that is, you cannot sell it whenever you want to. If you rent a house, you can move anywhere you want to without any penalty.

Renting doesn’t mean wasting money


Many people think that when you rent a house, you are wasting money every month. But this is not true. You have to pay to live in a place. With renting, you are not building any equity. But with ownership also you are not building much equity. The reason for it is that the total cost of owning a house is higher than the cost of renting, even if the monthly mortgage fees are same as the monthly renting price. Homeowners have to pay some extra money that the renter doesn’t have to pay, like property taxes, water and sewer service, repairs and maintenance, homeowners insurance, etc. If you add all these costs up, you may find that it is better to rent than buying a house.

Financial predictability


When you rent a house, you know how much you are going to pay every month. If you own a house, the money you spend every month is unpredictable. In one month you may pay just the mortgage and regular bills, and in the next month, you may have to replace your old roof with a new one which may cost you thousands of extra dollars. The renters also have unpredictable rent increases during the time of renewal of the contract. But the level of unpredictability is much lower in this case.

Which one is a better option is not only based on money, but also on comfort and your plans. Both have pros and cons. You must select the option that best fits your need.

Why is London such an expensive property market?


The London property market has changed over the years. The changes in tax regime, such the increase in stamp duty on luxury homes have made a significant impact. Here are some reasons why London is an expensive property market.

House prices in central London are dropping

The house prices in the central London are decreasing, whereas, prices in other parts of the city are booming. The increase in stamp duty has made it expensive to buy properties whose value is more than £1.5m. In the outside of the London boroughs, there is high growth in the real estate market.

Sales volumes are dropping

The volume of sales at the cheapest end of the property market is declining. Properties that are priced between £100,001 and £150,000 has fallen 51% over the year in sales. Properties priced at £200,000- saw a drop of 46%. Those that are priced between £500,001 and £600,000 had a price drop of 25%.

Demand is more on the outer boroughs

House prices are more in the inner areas of London. It has pushed first-time buyers to buy houses outside the boroughs. This has increased the demand in the outer boroughs. Homeowners who are looking forward to starting a family are also moving outside. We contacted this Real Estate Agent in London to figure out exactly why these figures went so high.

House building in London is rising but is not sufficient

It is estimated that about 56,400 new homes are required every year to meet the demand. The demand will keep on rising. Many people consider London to be a safe zone. So, they buy a home here to avoid the war in the Middle East or other places. London is a vibrant cultural hub where people love to live. This has increased the demand for properties in London even more. Even though the house completion rate has increased in the house completion rate in the past couple or years, it is not sufficient to meet the demand.

London is a favorite place to live for many people due to lots of green space and availability of all kinds of amenities. The price of properties in this city will always be high.

Four reasons why you should invest in luxury real estate


When we invest in a property, we try to make the best return for our money. In this case, it is best to invest in luxury properties. A luxury property is not only expensive. It is exclusive and unique as well. It must provide something desirable so that people are ready to pay the higher price for it. These are the reasons why you should invest in luxury properties.

Higher investment value

Properties rise in value most of the time. Luxury properties have high demands. So, they are a great investment opportunity. They can give you multiplied returns on your investment in future.

Particular niche market

It is a niche market and is meant for high-profile business people, industrialists, corporate executives, celebrities and other with very high-income level. These people have a minimum impact due to market and economic changes. So, even during a time of economic crisis, these people are ready to pay the price even during a period of economic crisis.

International investment

It is a great way of investing in international markets. You will get revenues that you won’t get in domestic markets. In many exotic locations, you won’t have to pay the annual property taxes or the capital gains taxes due to the transfer of property. These advantages make it a great investment opportunity.

Limited availability

As these properties are not widely available, their price is higher. The increasing demand for this kind of properties also contributes to the rising price. So, you can make a huge profit from luxury properties.

The demand for luxury properties has increased in various classes of the society due to rise in income level. If you want to invest, you should put your money in luxury homes.