As a top education, enterprising and commuter hotspot, the stunning and historical city of Oxford has strong property investment prospects with a growing rental market and increasing house prices.
Oxford is considered one of the most famous cities across England. With beautiful buildings and streets, the city is known as the “city for dreaming spires”. And it’s pretty easy to see why people would want to live here.
As an immensely historic city, the city is home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world – the University of Oxford. It also has some of the oldest pubs in all of the UK, including the Bear Inn, which dates back to 1242 and is famous for its tie collection.
While Oxford is a relatively compact city that’s easy to get around, there’s still so much packed into this small area. There are stunning parks, winding waterways and surrounding countryside within easy reach. Oxford also has old markets, new shopping centres, a range of independent cafes, bars and restaurants and historic and cultural museums all on offer.
In 2021, Oxford was also voted the UK’s safest university city in a survey by confused.com. And for four years running in between 2015 and 2019, it was named the UK’s best city for economy and wellbeing, which further highlights its strong liveability.
Oxford has one of the strongest economies in the South East of England and is also the most enterprising. The city has increased its lead at the top of PwC’s Good Growth for Cities Index in 2021. The report highlighted Oxford’s resilience against the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, showing the strength of the city.
Oxford is known for its world-class research and study facilities. The city has become a hub for education, technology and startups alike. There are more than 4,800 businesses in Oxford, employing 135,000 people.
Some of the largest employers include BMW, Unipart and the city’s universities. There are also a number of leading tech companies, such as biotechnology company OXGENE, biopharma company Nanopore and electric car start-up Yasa.
Oxford has direct access to London with the fastest trains taking less than an hour. The East-West Rail Project will further improve the city and wider region’s accessibility. This project is a major development reconnecting Oxford and Cambridge, while creating new links to Bicester and Bedford.
With a population of around 170,000, Oxford has a growing population of London commuters, professionals, students and graduates. The unique city provides an especially lucrative investment opportunity for property investors with a strategy targeting students or young professionals.
The University of Oxford features a student population of 23,975. As one of the top universities in the world, international students account for about 43% of the total population, showing its appeal on a global level. Oxford Brookes University is also located in the city, further adding to the number of students being drawn to the city.
Additionally, Oxford sees a lot of students stay even after graduation. This is likely because there is a growing number of job opportunities coming to the area. And as such an enterprising city, this will only attract more professionals to Oxford.
There has been an undersupply of housing in Oxford, especially as demand has been so high in recent years. This has caused house prices to grow. According to Zoopla’s November 2021 House Price Index, Oxford has an average house price of £430,400. Prices have increased by 5.7% year-on-year.
There are a number of residential property hotspots across the city and surrounding area. In all of Oxford, Jericho is one of the most characterful residential areas, while Cowley is popular among both families and students.
Another area boasting an attractive location is Headington, which is the largest suburb of Oxford. It has its own amenities and high street and has good connectivity to the city centre. The area has a range of properties from modern apartments to 1930s semi-detached houses and period terraces.
Oxford was named the second-best UK city for buy-to-let investment on Aldermore’s 2021 Buy to Let City Tracker. The city has seen some of the strongest housing demand in the UK, paired with increasing house prices.
Only 0.6% of Oxford’s housing stock was left vacant on average over the past year. And over the past 10 years, property investors have earned an annual return of 5% through house price growth alone.
This shows how Oxford is a great property investment location with growing rental demand and the potential to earn lucrative returns. As an appealing location for both domestic and international property investors and the prestige that comes with the city, Oxford is expected to continue being a top choice for long-term property investment.