Brixton becoming the property sector’s whipping boy yesterday, falling 10.25p, or 26%, to 28.5p. The collapse came amid a general rout of property shares as investors fled, fearing that a series of cash calls are imminent.

Brixton, which is said to be considering the sale of its 30 per cent share in a £400m Equiton property fund, admitted last week that it was pondering an equity issue. The company has told analysts that it expects about a fifth of its portfolio of trading estates, mainly around Heathrow, to be empty by the end of the year. That could trigger a substantial write down in valuations, since the sites are valued at present as though fully let.

Segro, its sector peer, fell 25.75p to 28.5p after warning that it, too, was considering a rights issue. The capital-raising could come at an 80% discount to the present price to raise about £390m, according to JPMorgan.

Brixton and Segro are also being hurt by the Government’s recent decision to charge full business rates on empty property. British Land fell 57.75p to 400p and Land Securities lost 50.75p to close at 498.25p. Both have announced rights issues.

The Times