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Banbury and Bicester have been named as top hotspots for buyers of houses, according to a report in The Times (‘Going for Growth’ - Bricks and Mortar, 31st July 2015).
The two towns have for several years been on the outer edges of the ‘London ripple effect’, where people who have jobs in the capital are increasingly unable to afford to buy a home close to work, and look to towns with good rail links where the cost of commuting is more than outweighed by the savings to be found in house prices. As prices rise even higher, the closer to central London the properties are, so the demand increases in rings further out.
Now north Oxfordshire is benefiting from another ripple effect of its own. Oxford itself has in recent years been suffering from an acute housing shortage, with demand far outstripping supply in the city, forcing the average house price to rise to a staggering £450,000. In marked contrast, a mere 20 minute train journey away in Banbury, though prices are rising the average stands at £200,000. In Bicester, where a new direct rail link to Oxford is scheduled to open in March 2016, a huge expansion of housing development sees greater supply and prices at an average of £270,000.
Conversely, as homes in London become more confined to the super-rich, there is evidence that prices outside city centre locations are now rising more quickly.
For those working in Oxford, the advantages of living in the north of the county go further than simply the ability to afford a nice house and the opportunity of a sound investment. Commuting by train avoids the nightmare of driving into Oxford city centre or the alternative costly and time-consuming Park and Ride. It also offers the chance to live in one of the numerous pretty villages within easy reach of a railway station, and to enjoy some of the most beautiful countryside in the region.
If you are buying or selling a property and need to instruct a Solicitor, please contact us today.