Why the global semiconductor shortage could harm real estate
Anyone who has tried to buy a new car recently will have an acute understanding of how the global semiconductor shortage has affected that industry.
New car sales in the UK are currently a quarter lower than they were in June 2021 – which, bear in mind, was during the pandemic. Buyers worldwide are being told they may have to wait for months, or longer, to pick up the keys.
But this isn’t due to a shortage of steel or vital engine components – this is for want of a handful of microchips made with silicon that would normally cost a few pennies. Now car manufacturers are going to extraordinary lengths to get around this problem – using chips meant for washing machines, rewriting programmes to use less silicon or ditching some features altogether. Ford has stripped out some, promising to add them back in a later date.
What does this have to do with real estate? Well, what is currently happening with cars could soon happen to buildings. Piers Wehner spoke to Johnnie Wilkinson who said,
“The scarcity of semiconductors will only be exacerbated as the real estate sector becomes more reliant on proptech solutions to achieve the myriad of data and sustainability targets that are currently being set,” says Johnnie Wilkinson, chief executive of real estate fund manager Greenman. “This is one of the reasons why we have moved to a more integrated investment management solution, with the capability to provide many of these services in-house.” To do this it has created joint ventures with Greenman Energy, Potager Farms, TechMash and its Luxembourg fund administrator Dinamik. “By providing these services directly, rather than through a third party, we will be in much better control of the process.”
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