Why buy in Oxford

Oxford is world famous for its acclaimed university. Many Oxford graduates stay in the city once they have finished their degrees, which means there’s a large number of young professionals in the area.

Oxford is less than an hour from London on the train, with the city built around the banks of the rivers Cherwell and Thames.

Some of the reasons to buy in Oxford are its:

  • beautiful and stunning architecture

  • opportunities for rowing and boating on the rivers

  • surrounding villages

  • high concentration of private schools

  • attractions such as Blenheim Palace, Oxford University Museum of Natural History and Pitt Rivers Museum

  • lively music, comedy, theatre and social scene

  • botanic gardens at Oxford University

Oxford property

Buying a home is a big decision, so it’s good to look at the housing market in any location where you are considering buying.

West of Oxford city is prone to flooding, so it’s best to be wary if looking to buy here. This could cause issues with your mortgage and home insurance.

In Oxford, there were around 299,490 residential properties as of 31 March 2020. ¹ 

Here’s a rundown of the number of properties in Oxford by property type:

  • detached – 68,450

  • semi detached – 76,250

  • terraced – 73,840

  • flat/maisonette – 51,660

  • other – 4,600

Oxford house prices

House prices in Oxford are high in relation to local salaries, making it one of the least affordable places to buy a home in the UK. ²

The average house price in Oxford between January 2020 and January 2021 was £415,036 which is a lot more than the UK average of about £238,480.³

In Oxford the average property price for a:

  • detached house is £828,610

  • semi detached is £520,252

  • terrace house is £408,230

  • flat is £273,990

The house prices stated here were updated in October 2021.

The cost of living in Oxford

Living in Oxford is expensive compared to living in other cities in the south of England.

Here are some examples of how much things cost in Oxford:⁴ 

  • a regular cappuccino – £2.78

  • a pint of beer – £4.49

  • a monthly travel pass – £55

  • gym membership per month – £40

  • cinema ticket – £11

First time buyers in Oxford

Oxford’s high house prices make it difficult for first time buyers to buy in the city.

Between January 2020 and January 2021, the average house price for first time buyers in Oxford was £367,922. This is higher than the £214,058 average in England.³

However, the average age of a first-time buyer in Oxford is 25, while the average first-time buyer in the UK is 27.⁵

Buy to lets in Oxford

Oxford has plenty of opportunities for people wanting to buy a home to rent out to tenants.

In 2019, Aldermore’s Buy to Let City Tracker ranked Oxford as the best city in the UK for buy-to-let investment.⁶

Oxford's main selling point for private landlords is that it has one of the largest private sector markets in the UK, with 28% of all residents in the city renting privately. 

This is combined with above average rents, a low level of vacant properties, and the fact that property prices have increased an average of 4.8% a year over the past decade.

You’ll need to make sure you have the right kind of mortgage if you decide to rent your property out. Find out more in our buy to let and landlord guide.

New builds in Oxford

In many locations, a new build home will cost more than an older property. However, new builds in Oxford are often cheaper than older properties. This could be because most new builds are likely to be flats rather than large houses.

In January 2021 the average cost of:³

  • a new build in Oxford was £352,705

  • an older property in Oxford was £433,416

Best places to live in Oxford

Jericho is about a 10-minute walk from the city centre. Its independent shops and eclectic cafés attract a cool, trendy crowd. 

Jericho is a conservation area and home to some stunning Georgian and Victorian architecture. 

The area comes to life at night as the pubs and bars fill up with students and locals.

If you can’t afford to buy a house in Oxford, how about a houseboat instead? If you moor your boat on the River Thames you’ll be just a short walk to the city centre, while also surrounded by nature.

The most expensive areas in Oxford lie to the north of the city. These areas are particularly popular with families. Schools in this area include The Cherwell School, a co-educational state school, or the Dragon School which is a private school for day pupils and boarders.

Summertown is north of Oxford's city centre. It is home to Oxford’s most expensive houses, particularly in Lathbury Road and Chalfont Road. 

There is a wide selection of restaurants, shops and supermarkets, as well as good transport links from Oxford Parkway station.

The suburb of Headington is to the east of the city centre and home to a rooftop sculpture depicting a large shark embedded headfirst in the roof of a house: the Headington shark. 

With three hospitals nearby, this area is a popular choice with doctors, nurses and other people working in healthcare.

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¹ Council Tax Stock of Properties | Valuation Office Agency (VOA)

² Mortgage Strategy

³ HM Land Registry 

⁴ Cost of Living in Oxford. Updated Prices Jun 2021. | Expatistan.com

⁵ CPS Homes

⁶ Oxford tops the list for buy to let investment | Aldermore Bank