Oxford: the emerging out-of-London hotspot

Posted on 23 Nov, 2020

Oxford needs no introduction and while it has always been a place for long weekends away for the London set, it is finding itself the subject of more permanent moves. New research by property developer SevenCapital has revealed a new London commuter belt is emerging, with Oxford making the list.

Less reliance on short commutes to the capital, working from home patterns and the prioritization of green, open space is propelling towns and cities further away from London to the top of the ‘must have’ moving list, making Oxford more attractive than ever. It’s a notion that has been echoed in The Spectator, who named the city as one of its top locations worth leaving London for as recently as October 2020.

Adding to Oxford’s appeal are the results of a recent survey conducted by Confused.com, measuring how safe and secure people feel at home. Oxford was crowned as the safest out of all of the UK’s major cities, with 61% saying they felt very safe and secure.

It will come as no surprise that house prices in Oxford have been steadily climbing for some time. Evidence of soaring values in the city of dreaming spires was noted by GoCompare back in August 2020, when the comparison site published a list of the cheapest and most expensive places to purchase a property in Britain.

Oxford took a spot in the top five most expensive locations, up there with its academic sister Cambridge, as well as London, Brighton and Edinburgh. The most recent data from Rightmove* suggests the city has an overall average house price of £519,109. Sold prices over the last 12 months were up 4% on the previous year, and are now 3% up on the peak seen in 2017.

Renting in Oxford is a popular first step for ‘try before they buy’ London relocators. As you would imagine, there is competition for lets from the huge student population and professionals working in the city’s booming STEM sector. The result is an average monthly rent of £1,974 pcm, according to Home.co.uk.

In fact, rental values in Oxford are so high that analysis of Office for National Statistics figures by Barrows and Forrester found rental affordability at a nationwide worse in Oxford, with tenants spending 82% of their monthly income on renting. This even surpasses London when the rent as a percentage of a net salary is considered.

The good news is there are a growing number of rental properties coming on to the Oxford market, as identified by property management platform Howsey. It noted Oxford showing a ‘prominent’ increase in ‘to let’ stock, which may help to temper rent rises.

If you’re leaving London – or any other location for Oxford – or are a property professional overwhelmed with viewing demands in the city, please contact Viewber. We can attend all types of property visits in Oxford, with as little as 24 hours notice, and compile a number of marketing assets while our Viewber is in the property.

*Rightmove 29th October 2020 

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