Market Comment HFCs and the Property Market - what do they have in common

Date Published 16 October 2016

I thought that I would put a little twist onto this month's Market Comment by looking at what many consider a global catastrophe unless we as a planet do something about it and ask fast. Namely, the phasing out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC's) which are scientifically considered the course of global warming. The United Nations met last week in Rwanda where 150 countries reached agreement to cut back HFC's use from 2019. Though as part of these negotiations a compromise was required to allow longer for developing nations, particularly India to reach the same target though not until 2032. These are the gases used in our fridges, air conditioning units and aerosol strays. Richer countries will start first. Originally under the Monreal Protocol HFC's were brought in to replace chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) until scientists realised that HFCs prevent heat radiating of the earth contributing to global warming. Unlike CFCs which affected our ozone layer. Though what has all this got to do with the housing market one asks?

We have a generation of young people who have no opportunity of ever getting onto the housing market and will be forced to rent for the whole of their lives, with nothing at the end to pass onto their children. There is a general sense of opinion that this is not good for the country's future prosperity just as HFC's are not good for the effects of global climate change. We have seen this where billions are spent when the weather takes havoc as parts of the country find themselves with homes they cannot sell due to repeated flooding as seen in York. Yet what can be done about what some consider are market forces? Applying the same to HFC's what can be done to reduce / eliminate these? Namely, countries get together and the richer more developed take initiatives to come up with solutions. Albeit by some, not as quick as required, but at least it is a start. Some are of the opinion that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, long term we are heading for doom and gloom, just as we would if nothing was done about HFCs. So perhaps now is the time for the more wealthy within our economy to look at ways of assisting those less fortunate in ways that improve the imbalance. How do we do this you may then ask? How can we help ‘Generation Rent?' Unfortunately, I have no quick fix solution, though by dialogue resolutions are made. Unless we start this dialogue now, we may find like HFCs untreated, the results are more catastrophic than we can ever image…