The South East of England continues to be a popular area with homebuyers, offering exceptional quality of life, areas of outstanding natural beauty and easy access to major destinations.
Oxfordshire represents one of the top areas in the South East and is often recognised for its heavy concentration of technology companies, educational links and history.
Driven by some of the top universities in the country, an established economy and beautiful scenery, the Oxfordshire property market has developed at an incredible pace.
Houses in Oxfordshire are increasingly desirable with property buyers and over the last 10 years, this demand means that prices have risen by 67% - around £177,000.
Below we explore some of the key benefits of buying a house in Oxfordshire, why you might choose to live in Oxfordshire and the key areas we operate in.
Is Oxfordshire a good place to buy a house?
If you’re looking at houses for sale in Oxfordshire, it’s essential to understand if Oxfordshire is a good place to live.
Villages across the region, as well as Oxford itself, regularly rank as some of the best places to live in the UK - offering exceptional quality of life, good schools and a mix of both urban and rural areas.
If we consider the key things homebuyers typically look for, Oxfordshire ranks well in many major categories.
9 in 10 schools across Oxfordshire were rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted this year, rising to 90% from the 89% figure recorded prior to the pandemic.
For students attending higher education, Oxfordshire remains the home of the finest university in the world and the byword for quality education. The University of Oxford is home to around 26,000 students, while schools such as Oxford Brookes University represent excellent alternatives.
Oxfordshire has an extremely high employment rate and plenty of opportunities to work in affluent, ‘knowledge-intensive’ sectors.
Out of 349,900 residents in the Oxfordshire labour market profile, 80% were employed. This is significantly higher than the UK average of 75%.
Oxford in particular has a large number of high-value employment opportunities and 60% of the city’s residents are qualified to NVQ level 4 or above. This is also significantly higher than the England average of 36%.
This alone demonstrates how towns such as Carterton, Thame and Henley can benefit from links to Oxford for residents that work in the city.
Oxfordshire offers excellent transport links around the country, with commuters able to reach Birmingham and London in just over an hour, while Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds are also easily accessible.
Great Western Railway and Chiltern Railway lines allow commuters to get across Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds, serving popular destinations such as Didcot and Bicester Village.
There’s also a large integrated travel network that includes a range of buses that allow residents to hop on and travel to Oxford or the surrounding area.
Crime rates are low across the Thames Valley region and Oxfordshire ranks as one of the safest major regions in the country.
The safest town in Oxfordshire is Carterton, with a crime rate that is 42% lower than the Oxfordshire average.
Examining the Oxfordshire property market
Oxfordshire has been one of the major benefactors of rising property prices over the last 10 years.
As a region, it has seen prices steadily rise following the challenges of 2009, following the trend that London set for the wider South East.
In 2022, average house prices in Oxfordshire are around £441,000 according to the Land Registry, having increased by £177,290 (67%) since 2012.
This is incredible growth for the region and while price growth is set to slow next year due to higher interest rates and lower transactions, forecasts suggest that it could start increasing again by 2024 and see cumulative double-digit growth by 2027.
The most recent JLL report suggests that by 2024, after a period of slower growth, prices will start to see an upturn of 2%. This is followed by 4.5% growth in 2025/2026 and 5.5% in 2027. By 2027, property prices in Oxfordshire will have risen by 10.5% overall.
Top destinations in Oxfordshire
If you’re thinking about buying in Oxfordshire, where are the best places to consider? With a mix of cosy market towns, rolling hills and bustling cities, Oxfordshire has a lot to offer wherever you choose.
Below we run through some of the top areas that homebuyers should be considering going forward:
One of Oxfordshire’s newest towns is also one of its best-kept secrets. The second largest town in West Oxfordshire, it’s home to 14,000 people and a bustling town centre with plenty of amenities.
Residents have plenty of pubs and restaurants to choose from including Siege of Orleans, Golden Eagle and The Beehive, while restaurants such as Aangon, All Angelo and Lynwood and Co offer great food.
Carterton is home to a number of excellent schools and has nearby attractions including the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens.
Bourton-on-the-Water is a picturesque village at the heart of the rural Cotswolds area. Nestled against the River Windrush, the village is renowned for its low bridges, traditional stone houses and beautiful vistas.
Major attractions in the area include the Cotswolds Motoring Museum - which houses a large range of vintage cars and retro toys - and Birdland, home to a variety of bird species including parrots, owls and king penguins.
Outside of these tourist hotspots, Bourton is recognised as a vibrant and community-led village, with 4,000 residents enjoying the local events and independent businesses that line its streets. Whether you’re taking a break at one of the many restaurants, cafes and tea rooms or soaking up some of the history, there’s something for everyone.
Cirencester is the largest town in the Cotswolds and represents one of the more popular market towns in the area. Situated on the River Churn, Cirencester is the home of the Royal Agricultural University and has a long history dating back to the Roman era.
Today the town has a variety of cultural attractions including The Sundial Theatre, the Church of St. John the Baptist and a number of arts companies involved in music, dance and drama.
The town is also home to a number of prestigious educational institutions, including Cirencester College, Rendcomb College and Cirencester Deer Park School, which has roots as a grammar school dating back 500 years.
Burford is another town located on the River Windrush and is often referred to as the ‘gateway’ to the Cotswolds.
Famed for its steep high street, Georgian townhouses and stone cottages, Burford is incredibly picturesque and offers a number of highlights including a medieval church, local shops, tea rooms and pubs steeped in history.
No list of places to visit or buy in Oxfordshire would be complete without mentioning Oxford. Recognised as one of the major cities within the South East, Oxford is known as the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ - due to the architecture that makes up the world-renowned University of Oxford.
Aside from its major educational history, Oxford has all of the amenities you might expect from a major city, with plenty of entertainment, leisure and attractions ideal for people of all ages. If you’re looking for some retail therapy, Oxford has shops of all shapes and sizes, from high street brands to designer outlets.
Oxford has a booming economy that is largely driven by its automotive industry - the main MINI plant is located at the heart of Oxfordshire, while many more F1 and motorsport teams are dotted around the area.
Spotlight On: Carterton
One of our key areas in Oxfordshire is Carterton. As one of the newest towns in the region and the second largest in West Oxfordshire, it’s a safe, vibrant and picturesque market town nestled between Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds.
While it was initially known for its produce and market fairs, it’s now mostly recognised for its proximity to RAF Brize Norton, Britain’s largest air base.
With a population of 14,000, Carterton is quickly emerging as a top destination for homebuyers that want affordability and accessibility in the South East.
Carterton continues to go from strength to strength and has built a modern, bustling town centre that has all of the necessary amenities such as supermarkets, pubs, a leisure centre and restaurants as well as access to exceptional schools and a lower crime rate than the Oxfordshire average.
The high street features plenty of independent businesses that give the market town a cosy, community atmosphere and there are plenty of cultural sights around including the Cotswolds Wildlife Park and Gardens.
In a survey of Oxfordshire residents recently, Carterton (and the wider West Oxfordshire) was voted as the best place to live in the entire region.
What are house prices like in Carterton?
The Carterton property market has benefited from steady growth over the last 4 years, with property prices following a similar trajectory to that of the wider Oxfordshire area.
On average, a detached house costs around £623,000, an increase of 14.9% from 2021. A semi-detached house costs around £398,000, while a flat is £210,000.
Overall, prices have risen quicker in Carterton than in the entire Oxfordshire region as it becomes more desirable for homebuyers.
Our brand new development in Carterton, West Oxfordshire is The Falcons, named after the historic parachute regiment that operates out of the nearby RAF base, Brize Norton.
The Falcons is a stunning development of 2, 3 and 4-bedroom homes near Carterton, offering the best of both worlds - beautiful countryside views and vibrant town life amongst a selection of boutique shops, restaurants and other modern amenities.
Residents living at The Falcons will have direct access to both Oxford and Cirencester via accessible, convenient transport links - ideal for those that want to experience some city life or work for employers in the area.
As part of our Shared Ownership scheme, The Falcons represents a fantastic, affordable opportunity to get on the property ladder in a sought-after area.
You’ll never be short of things to do when living at The Falcons. Aside from the sights and sounds of Carterton, nearby attractions are plentiful and include the Cotswolds Wildlife Park and Gardens, Crocodiles of the World and Carterton Leisure Centre.
The Falcons represents the perfect opportunity if you’re looking for houses for sale in Oxfordshire. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, finding your new family home or relocating to the area for work, this new development will offer an incredible build standard and a more accessible entry point into a desirable property market.