Oxford commuters benefit from high-speed rail link
Posted 17 October 2016 by Fiona Brandhorst
Oxford is one of the UK’s most well-known and ideally located cities where demand for prime property has picked up in 2016 both locally and from further afield according to Knight Frank.
Famous for its university and ancient dreaming spires, the new high-speed rail link at Oxford Parkway, which opened in October 2015, has helped stimulate demand in property markets to the north of the city.
Commuters using the line can now be in London Marylebone in under an hour. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of Londoners looking to buy property in Oxford so far this year in part driven by good schools and excellent transport links. Some 25% of all prospective buyers registering with Knight Frank’s Oxford office in 2016 were based in the capital, up from 19% in 2015.
Oxford-based property expert Ray Withers, CEO of Property Frontiers, said: “This high-speed rail link extension makes Oxford an even better proposition for commuters and businesses with close links to the capital, but also opens up Oxford and the Cotswolds to Londoners to take advantage of the culture and natural beauty on offer.”
The town has a good range of high street shops, independent retailers, restaurants, bars and pubs catering for local residents as well as the student population from Oxford and Oxford Brookes universities. The redevelopment of the Westgate Centre in the middle of the town will be completed in 2017 and will include a flagship branch of John Lewis, 70 new shops, a cinema and underground parking.
Oxford's world-famous covered market is home to numerous traders selling a variety of goods from fruit and vegetables, breads and cakes, to leather goods and jewellery. The Gloucester Green market is a traditional and vibrant open-air market held on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
There are a number of leisure centres in and around the city including an ice rink in Oxpens Road and several theatres including the Oxford Playhouse. Parks include University Park with its seven large Giant Sequoia trees planted in about 1888. Meadows surround the town offering walks, jogging and open-air events.
There is a huge choice of schools from both the state and private sector including East Oxford Primary School, Oxford Spires Academy and leading independents St Edwards School and Headington School.
A monthly season ticket to London costs £463.90 from Oxford (£4,832 annually) with the fastest journey time between Oxford and Paddington 55 minutes. Trains to Birmingham take 58 minutes (£479.30 monthly, £4,992 annually); Reading takes 22 minutes (£252.70 monthly, £2,632 annually).
Oxford has good access to the M40 and A40 making it an easy drive to London 60 miles away. Heathrow Airport is just over an hour away via the M40 while Birmingham is 77 miles away and takes 1hr and 40mins.
Here’s a round-up of great new homes to buy in Oxford:
Orchard Gate (David Wilson Homes) - A charming development of three-, four- and five-bedroom homes just north of the popular village of Kingston Bagpuize just 10 miles from Oxford. Each home offers spacious, modern living with large landscaped gardens perfect for growing families. Prices from £565,000. Find out more about Orchard Gate from David Wilson Homes
Heron Place (McCarthy & Stone) – This new Retirement Living development of 31 one- and two-bedroom retirement apartments features a club lounge, concierge service and guest suite for family and friends just six miles north of Oxford. Prices start from £285,000. Find out more about Heron Place from McCarthy & Stone
Pipers Mead (Hatched.co.uk) - A small rural development of five stylish bespoke homes in the village of Merton near the River Ray on the edge of Otmoor’s RSPB Nature reserve. A three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, 11 miles from Oxford is priced at £385,000. More details at www.hatched.co.uk ; 0333 999 7699
Thame Meadows (Bloor Homes) – A superb collection of three-, four- and five-bedroom homes in scenic Oxfordshire yet conveniently located for the city centre. The imaginative layouts meet the needs of modern living for couples and families alike. Prices start from £600,000. For more details visit www.bloorhomes.com; 01455 819466
Tilbury Fields (Charles Church Developments) – This traditional collection of four- and five-bedroom homes ideally located on the edge of the historic city of Oxford and within easy reach of amenities. Help to Buy is available. Prices from £334,500. For further details visit www.charleschurch.com; 01865 236968