I bought a house on 'dangerous' street for £5k in 1970 – now it's £1m
I bought a four-bedroom house on Britain’s ‘most dangerous’ street for £5,000 in 1970…now it’s worth more than £1million
- Hasan bought his house in Brixton, south London, after moving from Cyprus
A homeowner who bought his four bedroomed house on Britain’s ‘most dangerous’ street for £5,000 in 1970 claims it is now worth £1million.
Hasan Rezvan, 75, moved to the UK from Cyprus and got his property on Coldharbour Lane in south London, near the junction with Northlands Street, Herne Hill.
In 1981 the area was rocked by the Brixton riots and by the late 1990s Brixton had developed a reputation for drug use and violence.
Coldharbour Lane was even named ‘Britain’s most dangerous’ in 2003 after £1million of crack was said to be dealt there every month – as well as nearly 15,000 stabbings, robberies, muggings and murders.
Despite this, people continued to flock to this ‘edgy’ part of Lambeth, pushing up house prices to where they are today.
Hasan Rezvan poses outside his house on Coldharbour Lane in south London
Mr Rezvan lives on Coldharbour Lane in south London, near the junction with Northlands Street, Herne Hill
Mr Rezvan said he’d hardly had any problems living on Coldharbour Lane and does not feel unsafe there despite its former reputation
In 1981 the area was rocked by the Brixton riots – shocking pictures from the time
Rightmove data shows how home prices in SW9 have exploded since the early 2000s, starting at an average of £200,000 and rising to around £600,000.
Terraced houses in the area can sell for well over £1million, while a semi-detached can go for as much as £2million.
A four-bed terrace on Coldharbour Lane, just like Mr Rezvan’s, sold for £1,075,000 in June 2021.
Mr Rezvan said he’d hardly had any problems living on Coldharbour Lane and does not feel unsafe there despite its former reputation.
He recalls fighting and constant police at a nearby block, saying: ‘You could hear the screams’.
However, reflecting on the present day, Mr Rezvan stressed: ‘There’s hardly anything, it’s getting better.’
Across the road there used to be a carpark with a car boot sale, but it’s now been turned into the huge Printworks Apartments complex, with its striking lime green balconies.
Mr Rezvan was initially worried about the effects of so many people moving in across the road, but he says the security on the new buildings means there’s no issues.
Terraced houses in the area can now sell for well over £1million, while a semi-detached can go for as much as £2million
The street was once however dubbed ‘Britain’s most dangerous’
Wrecked buildings and cars in Brixton, London, following the 1981 riots
A woman sweeps rubble off the pavement while a car burns in the street in April 1981
Rioting, looting and arson confronted police – pictured is a car set on fire amid the riots
Aerial view of fire engines outside a burnt-out furniture warehouse on Coldharbour Lane
Police lined up on a Brixton street amid the riots which rocked the area in the 80s
Read more: Inside grubby Hampstead shack on sale for £785,000 – with cash buyers wanted
Speaking from his front garden, Mr Rezvan accepted that while his house might be worth a lot: ‘I do not have the money in my pocket.’
He also says any money earned on the sale would probably be lost to the Cypriot healthcare system if he were to retire there.
Mr Rezvan continued: ‘The only way to get it is to sell it up and go home to Cyprus. But when I live here for 50 years, this is my home now.’
Mr Rezvan had one piece of advice to young people trying to get on the housing ladder. He said they need to be willing to make sacrifices if they want to own a home.
Pointing to his tired black leather shoes with a glint in his eye, Mr Rezvan said: ‘Kids want their names on the trainers, but I’m happy with these.’
Coldharbour Lane is more than a mile long and shops, bars and restaurants are on the stretch of the road located near Brixton Market.
A general view of modern Coldharbour Lane, which runs through Brixton, Herne Hill, and Camberwell in south London
The modern day Printworks Apartments, Coldharbour Lane, Herne Hill, Lambeth, south London
Lifelong resident Esme Thawe says she remembers the drugs, drug users and rough sleepers who used to be on the road.
Speaking to MyLondon she said: ‘People just used to rob you because they had no money, when people beg and do not get what they want they get angry.’
Ms Thawe, who has a fruit and vegetables shop on Market Row, said she would get thieves who would walk past and just grab a bunch of bananas.
Cafe owner Salih Salih told how ‘there’s always been a few muggings, but it’s not really happening like it used to.’
Maya Rivett-Martinez, 19, works in Brixton’s Prince Albert pub. She added that in her lifetime the area has become safer, but trouble still sometimes flares.
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