When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
City tops UK league for sky-high prices
HIGH house prices in Oxford are being pushed up by the lack of new homes, experts said last night.
A new report, Cities Outlook 2013, estimates the average house price in Oxford is nearly 15 times the average salary – £380,000 to £25,800 – causing it to overtake London as the UK’s least affordable city.
According to the report London’s average house price is 13.6 times the average wage.
Cambridge is in third place on the list with an average house price 11.7 times what residents take home.
The report calls on the Government to kick-start stalled housing developments in Oxford.
Teresa O’Hara, associate director of Oxford estate agent James C Penny, said: “There is only a certain amount of stock available inside the ring road and that is pushing prices through the roof”.
She added: “Oxford is seen as a safe bet internationally, so while there is a lot of turbulence and uncertainty in Europe, Oxford is seen as somewhere safe for people to come in and educate their children. We are seeing a lot of money coming in from China, and investors from the United Arab Emirates.”
Gavin West, managing director of Kemp and Kemp Residential in Summertown, Oxford, said the price boom was “almost purely” down to education.
He said: “We have some of the highest performing schools in the world. International money has been driven to Oxford by people wanting to educate their kids at the best schools, and they want to live in the best areas. In prime areas of Oxford, property is around £1,000 per square foot, that is what we call the ‘golden triangle’.
“It is not impossible to buy a house here if you are not a top earner, but you will have to spend upwards of £200,000 if you want a two-or three-bedroom property.”
But as house prices continue to skyrocket, average earners and those renting are feeling left behind.
Eleanor Glynn, former Miss England, a showroom manager, said like many she had been “trapped” renting for years and had all but given up hope of owning her own home.
Following another recent move she is living in a shared house in Cowley Road, Oxford.
The 26-year-old said: “I moved out at 21 and didn’t think too much about the property market, and now it seems like it is just an impossibility.
“The worry is you could just spend 10 years renting. It’s really stressful too, you have your car and you have to lug your microwaves and kettles from place to place. “You lack that stability in your life, then you look at house prices and think you’ll never get anywhere.”