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House prices in Edgware have seen huge rises over recent years, with property in short supply. And the eruv area, which was already popular with buyers, has experienced a 5-10 percent rise in average prices over the past few months.
The religious boundary, which went live last month, incorporates most of Edgware, from Mill Hill Broadway to the Broadfields Estate to just beyond Edgware Station, and allows Orthodox Jews to carry out a number of activities on Shabbat and festivals that would usually be forbidden.
Ben Russell, owner of Taylor Hawkins estate agents, Edgware Way, told TJ: “There has been unprecedented demand for houses of all sizes within the eruv ever since the proposed boundaries were announced three years ago. There has also been a natural influx of frum families into the area from fading communities further afield, regardless of the eruv.
“These two factors have resulted in house price increases far greater than average national trends. Nothing lasts on the market for more than three or four days.”
He added: “Every day people call our offices and, not realising that we are a frum company, ask us for properties within a certain set of roads. And we know they are looking for a house inside the eruv.”
Steven Kersh, sales manager for Melvin Jacobs, Manor Park Crescent, said: “On the back of the new eruv coming there has been a lot of hype within certain sections of the client base. There has also been a lot of speculation that people will make the move from areas like Ilford, Golders Green and Hendon. There has also been an increase in the number of synagogues, restaurants and kosher shops within its perimeter.”
Agents at Melvin Jacobs also field daily enquiries about houses within the eruv. Kersh said: “It’s becoming a large proportion of our buyers, partly because we promote ourselves to that clientele. Clients in that category are more interested. It’s not quantifiable in terms of house price rises but it has certainly increased demand, which will knock on to increase prices.”
He added that he was sure some were buying not with the intention of making use of the eruv but in the knowledge that property within its boundaries will prove a good investment for the future.
Other areas look set to share in Edgware’s excitement as they put into place their own plans for communal eruvs. In Borehamwood and Elstree the scheme is backed by both the Federation and United Synagogues and the eruv committee has been working with the local council in a bid to complete work by the end of next year.
There could also be a second eruv in Barnet, covering areas of Woodside Park, Whetstone and North Finchley, with officials there already in the process of inspecting the eruv boundaries.Eruv Boon For House Prices by Alex Sholem