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Roehampton Drive exodus! - Several houses up for sale in upscale St Andrew neighbourhood!

Published:Sunday | May 29, 2016 | 5:00 AMErica Virtue
One of the many houses on sale on Roehampton Drive in upper St Andrew.
One of the many houses on sale on Roehampton Drive in upper St Andrew.
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Mystery surrounds a recent upsurge in the number of properties being offered for sale on Roehampton Drive in upper St Andrew.

Over the past month, a number of properties in the upscale neighbourhood have been placed on the market, but last week, the homeowners who were contacted by our news team, refused to say why they have decided to sell the properties.

Two weeks ago, four houses, all with backyards close to the Cassia Park Gully, had for sale signs put up. One week later, 31 Roehampton Drive was also put on the market, with an asking price of $19.5 million. The overseas-based owner of the two-family property at 53 Roehampton Drive is asking between $19 and $20 million for the four-bedroom two-family house.

One long-time resident of the community noted the growing squatter settlement nearby leading to the Whitehall area and suggested that crime could be a factor.

But the Constant Spring police told our news team that they had no reports of increased criminal activity in the community.

"We, too, have seen the for sale signs, but I can tell you it's not because of any increase in criminal activities. In fact, we have no reports of increased criminal activities there," an officer at the Constant Spring Police Station told The Sunday Gleaner.

One house owner, who has also put his property on the market, confirmed the police's view that crime was not a factor in his decision to sell.

CRIME NOT AN ISSUE

"It's not an issue, really. I have never had any problems with criminality and I have lived here nearly all my life," said the property owner, who asked not to be named.

He said tenants now occupy several of the houses as the owners have migrated and the once-active Neighbourhood Watch is no longer active.

Another resident of the area told our news team that a number of the property owners are advanced in age, with grown children living overseas.

"Look what is happening in Jamaica today. When your children live overseas and hear of the daily reports of violent crimes in Jamaica, they want their parents to be where they are. It doesn't mean they could not become victims of crime overseas, but I bet you it would be investigated," said the resident.

He said while crime is not a factor in the area, "children did not feel comfortable knowing their parents are in Jamaica and could become victims of crime. So it's a case where children are saying to their parents, 'Come!'"