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A 45-bedroom mansion that had belonged to former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri until his assasination in 2005 is seen in the upscale Knightsbridge neighbourhood of London November 5, 2012.
A 45-bedroom mansion that had belonged to former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri until his assasination in 2005 is seen in the upscale Knightsbridge neighbourhood of London November 5, 2012.
(Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)

CARL MORTISHED

Skyrocketing London real estate lifts IPO

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With central banks on both sides of the Atlantic continuing to pump money into financial assets, it should be no surprise to anyone that the rich everywhere are continuing to buy prime real estate. Nowhere is this more evident than in London, where an influx of foreign capital has pushed the price of an average home up by almost 10 per cent over the past year. The price surge is causing anguish for young families seeking a roof over their heads and debate in Parliament over the wisdom of government measures to stimulate housebuilding. However, one small constituency is delighted: the owners of Foxtons, a London chain of estate agents, which has just floated on the London Stock Exchange, valuing the firm and its 42 local agencies at $1-billion (U.S.).