Anthony Hilton: Why this is one housing market to stay out of
Saturday 08 June 2013
If the way to stay young is to keep repeating your mistakes then the London investment community will surely be blessed with perpetual youth if it buys into the flotation of Foxtons.
The London estate agent announced yesterday that it hoped soon to obtain a stock market listing. It is déjà vu all over again. Every cycle sees a rush of estate agency flotations and they always end in tears.
There are some businesses which should not be listed companies and estate agents are one of them. Their income is linked to the property cycle so is horribly volatile. It is of dubious quality because even in good times there is always a rival who willing to do it cheaper. It is a people business, in a business whose people are disloyal. Every boom sees the best sales teams leave their employer and start up in competition across the street. There are no assets to speak of and no customer loyalty. And finally it is an intermediary when the internet allows people to bypass intermediaries and their extortionate commissions.
The technology means estate agents must surely soon follow travel agents, motor insurance brokers and other like-minded souls down the path to oblivion.
All this does help explain why the owners, a private equity house known as BC Partners, might want to sell. It does not explain why anyone would want to buy.
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 4 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
- 5 Businessman charged £75 for three small bottles of water in London hotel
Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
Israel-Gaza conflict: President Obama presses Netanyahu to call ‘immediate and unconditional’ Gaza ceasefire
Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
Zayn Malik on Israel-Gaza: One Direction singer bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine
MH17 crash: Black boxes show plane suffered 'massive explosive decompression' following shrapnel hit
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
iJobs Money & Business
Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)
£350 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...
£500 - £560 per day: Orgtel: Java Developer FX - Banking - London - Up to £560...
£350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...
£26000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Account Manager - (Produc...