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Harlesden top in the capital for property boom

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 April 2017

Celebration when the Jubilee Clock returned to Harlesden Town Centre

Celebration when the Jubilee Clock returned to Harlesden Town Centre

Archant

Harlesden has had the biggest property boom in London in a sign it is shedding its former reputation as a centre for crime.

The area, with its landmark Jubilee Clock, has seen the value of residential homes rise by 14.6 per cent in the past year, according to research by estate agents Hamptons.

Wembley Central has seen the fifth highest rise, with property prices increasing by 13.8pc.

Prices in Harlesden have nearly doubled in the last few years with a property valued at £253,999 in 2007 worth £485,059 in 2016.

Its popularity is set to grow even more with thousands of new homes earmarked as part of the regeneration of Old Oak Common.

The area boasts the award winning Roundwood Park, a Victorian garden with colourful floral borders, an aviary for common birds, a cafe and views of the iconic Wembley Stadium.

In its recent history, however, Harlesden has been associated with high-profile crimes.

Last November, 22-year-old James Owusu was gunned down outside his mother’s home in Tynsdale Road.

Months earlier Oliver Tetlow was killed in a case of mistaken iden-tity during a drive by shooting on the Church Road Estate.

Rose Rouse, a writer from Bramston Road, said: “I’m glad Harlesden is changing. People are moving across from Kensal Green and Kensal Rise to get more space.

“It represents a change that I’ve noticed when I walk down Park Parade. New places are emerging which does increase people going out.”

But not everyone welcomed the price increases.

Megan Lewis, a representative of the Harlesden Neighbourhood Forum, said: “Rising house prices cause a lot of difficulties with local, tight-knit communities forced to break up.

“Young people can’t afford to live in the area, which has a knock-on effect.”

Cllr Bobby Thomas, who represents Harlesden, said: “Harlesden is a lovely place to live because it’s diverse. Harlesden in particular is not dominated by any group.

“They all live in harmony and may that continue.”

He added: “Crime happens all over London – every community has these issues, not just Harlesden.”

David Fell, research analyst at Hamptons International, said: “While overall London house prices are likely to fall over the course of 2017, there will still be growth in more affordable

corners.

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