Foxtons, one of London’s better known and least loved estate agents, has just floated on the London stock market. The IPO was snapped up with great zeal and the shares are currently trading at twenty times earnings according to Reuters.
Foxtons was last sold in 2007 for c. £450m by John Hunt, the founder, to BC Partners who then found themselves in a bit of a mess when the market collapsed soon after. Will this IPO and current share price which values the firm at $1.2 billion (thank you Reuters again) signal another market top? Who knows but, just to be mischievous, I thought I would point out that it does coincide with another less than scientific indicator of market tops – “The Curse of the Tallest Building”.
The list of Skyscrapers to have presaged major economic downturns include The Empire State Building which was launched just before the crash of 1929, The World Trade Centre opened during the market crash of 1973-74 and just to prove that this isn’t a uniquely American phenomenon think of The Petronas Towers and the Asian crisis in the late 1990’s and more recently the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
The good news is that Europe’s tallest building is The Shard which opened this year. Yikes!