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Buying a property in Oxford: a complete guide

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property investment Oxford

Yes, the analysis of Oxford's property market is included in our pack

Interested in investing in real estate in Oxford? You're not alone!

Many people are captivated by Oxford's academic heritage and dream of owning a historic townhouse or a modern apartment there.

Is it financially viable, though? Are property prices increasing in Oxford? What is the price per sqm? Should you consider buying in the city center or Jericho? Is there any hidden tax? Which places offer rental yields exceeding 7%?

We have all the answers you need.

The Investropa team has thoroughly explored this market. Actually, we've put all our findings together in a pack. Get it now.

In this article, we'll provide you with helpful information.

How's the real estate market in Oxford?

Are property prices booming or faltering? Instead of relying on opinions, we turn to hard data and stats for clarity

Property types

In Oxford, you can find a variety of properties for sale to suit different preferences and budgets.

These include apartments, which are compact and often located in multi-story buildings, perfect for individuals or small families. There are also townhouses and terraced houses, providing more space and charm with shared walls between properties. For those seeking a bit more privacy and land, detached houses are available, offering stand-alone homes with yards or gardens.

Additionally, Oxford features beautiful period properties with historical architecture, as well as modern, newly-built houses.

Whether you're a first-time buyer, a family looking to upsize, or a history enthusiast, Oxford's diverse property market has something to offer for everyone.

Buy or rent?

(If you plan to use it yourself and not as a rental)

Whether you're considering settling in Oxford or already living there, you might be pondering the buy vs. rent decision in this historic and prestigious British university town.

Generally, buying is a better choice than renting in Oxford due to the high rental prices and the potential long-term value of owning a property in the area.

However, should flexibility be your priority, renting is the best option.

Property prices in Oxford

On average, according to the last data from Halifax and Bank of Scotland, purchasing a property in Oxford should cost you around $4,100 per square meter.

Obviously, there are some big differences. The value of a square meter for an apartment in Oxford city center might differ from a suburban house in Cowley. We actually offer a more in-depth analysis in our pack for buying property in Oxford and in the UK.

To give you a sense of scale, it is 4.6 times less than the property prices in the center of New York.

Also, housing prices in Oxford are 7% cheaper than in Cambridge.

The most expensive neighbourhoods in Oxford are probably Jericho, Summertown, and Central North Oxford, while the cheapest are likely East Oxford and Blackbird Leys.

Oxford Property Price per Square Meter


First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that the United Kingdom remains, today, a very stable country. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 40.6.

This is important to remember when wondering if it's a good investment to buy a property in Oxford.

Also, according to the IMF’s forecasts, the UK's economy is expected to soar by 6% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 1.2%.

If you intend to invest in real estate in Oxford it's a good thing because when the economy grows, people often experience an increase in wealth, it typically translates to a surge in housing costs.

Also, in the UK, the average GDP per capita has changed by 0.5% over the last 5 years. The growth, although minimal, is still present.

Looking for more updated data? We've done a big-picture study to find out if it's a good idea to purchase property in the UK right now.

Buying property in Oxford

Buying real estate in Oxford can be difficult due to the lack of reliable and up-to-date information available. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in Oxford and in the UK.

Buying process

Within our pack, we have outlined the complete buying process. This includes the necessary documents, the applicable taxes, as well as information about where to locate properties, and more.

Here, we are providing you with a simpler version to assist you in better comprehending the information.

This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Oxford:

  1. Save for a deposit and obtain a mortgage pre-approval from a UK lender.
  2. Research the Oxford property market and set a budget considering factors like location, amenities, and nearby educational institutions.
  3. Engage a local estate agent specializing in Oxford properties to find suitable options.
  4. View properties and shortlist potential ones based on specific criteria such as proximity to University of Oxford or local schools.
  5. Appoint a solicitor familiar with Oxford property laws to handle the legal process.
  6. Make an offer to the seller through your agent, using an Offer Letter that outlines the price, deposit, and conditions.
  7. Negotiate the price and terms with the seller while taking into account local market trends.
  8. Once the offer is accepted, instruct your solicitor to start the conveyancing process, including Land Registry searches.
  9. Conduct property surveys such as the HomeBuyer Report or Building Survey, and check for conservation area restrictions if applicable.
  10. Finalize mortgage arrangements with your lender and provide specific documents like proof of address, income, and identification.
  11. Exchange contracts with the seller after all legal checks are satisfactory, using the standard UK agreement.
  12. Complete the purchase, pay all necessary fees and taxes, and take possession of the Oxford property, while adhering to any conservation area regulations or restrictions unique to the city.

Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in the UK.

Make a profitable investment in Oxford

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buying property in Oxford

Where to find a property

Find your ideal property in Oxford through these websites:

  • Zoopla - Locate properties, verify house prices, and receive expert guidance on buying, renting, and selling homes.
  • Rightmove - A property search platform in the UK, presenting homes for sale and rent, house prices, and property news.
  • Find UK Property - Specialists in UK property for overseas buyers, UK expats, and buy-to-let investors. They provide affordable houses with guaranteed rent and property management.
  • - The UK's all-inclusive property search platform, connecting buyers and renters to over 566,000 properties and numerous estate and letting agents.
  • On the Market - A property search platform offering UK homes for sale and rent, showcasing new properties prior to appearing on Rightmove or Zoopla.

Also, know that we have included contacts of real estate agencies, property lawyers, moving companies, expats communities and more in our pack for buying property in the UK.

What you can get

As mentioned before, the average price per sqm in Oxford is $4,100. A 1-bedroom property of 60 square meters would cost approximately $246,000, and a 2-bedroom of 85 square meters would cost approximately $349,000.

However, prices will change based on both the property itself and its location.

You can expect prices to be steeper in the upscale parts of Oxford. To get a condominium in Jericho, you might need around $470,000, but a residence in Summertown could be priced at $920,000.

Yet, there are places that won't cost you as much. You have the opportunity to find a house in Rose Hill for $320,000 or a house in Blackbird Leys for just $260,000.

Find a more detailed price list in our full pack for buying property in the UK.

Risks and pitfalls

Here are the main pitfalls when buying property in Oxford, England:

  • Listed buildings: Beware of potential restrictions and costs associated with owning and renovating listed properties.
  • Green Belt restrictions: Properties in the Green Belt may face limitations on development and expansion.
  • University influence: Proximity to universities can lead to noise, parking issues, and fluctuating demand for rentals.
  • Oxford floods: Some areas are susceptible to flooding from the River Thames and its tributaries.
  • Oxford-Cambridge Arc: Government development plans may affect property prices and neighborhood dynamics.
  • Oxford bike culture: Consider bicycle traffic and parking challenges near popular cycling routes.
  • Tourist influx: Certain areas experience heavy tourist footfall, impacting privacy and local amenities.
  • Oxfordshire Cotswolds: Check for potential conservation area restrictions in this picturesque region.

We don't want this to happen to you, so we have included a full checklist for your property investment in our pack of documents. Avoid these mistakes and save a lot of money.

real estate The United Kingdom

Everything you need to know is included in our United Kingdom Property Pack

Living in Oxford

Living in Oxford is a unique experience, offering a vibrant city life combined with a rich history and beautiful countryside.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Oxford is relatively high due to its popularity as a tourist destination. However, living costs are still lower than in many other major cities in the UK.

Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Oxford:

  • Monthly rent for a charming apartment in the historic Jericho neighborhood: $2,000-$3,300.
  • A pint of local Oxfordshire ale (e.g., Hooky Gold or Brakspear Bitter) at a traditional pub: $5-$7.
  • Monthly transportation pass for buses within Oxford: $70-$90.
  • A cup of traditional Oxford afternoon tea with scones and clotted cream: $7-$12.
  • Admission to the Ashmolean Museum: Free (donation optional).
  • Monthly membership at an Oxford-based fitness studio or yoga studio: $60-$120.
  • Fresh produce from the Oxford Covered Market for a week: $40-$70.
  • A bottle of local Oxford gin (e.g., TOAD or Oxford Dry Gin) from a liquor store: $30-$50.

Neighbourhoods and spots

Since we want to present information in a clear and reader-friendly manner, we've created a summary table outlining the various neighborhoods in Oxford. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.

Neighborhood Description Strengths Weaknesses


Jericho is a vibrant neighborhood known for its bohemian atmosphere, diverse community, and charming Victorian houses.

Excellent local cafes and restaurants, close to city center, good public transport links.

Parking can be limited, higher housing costs.


Cowley is a bustling area with a mix of students and young professionals, offering an array of eateries, pubs, and shops.

Plenty of amenities, lively nightlife, affordable rental options.

Can be noisy, traffic congestion during peak hours.


Headington is home to the main Oxford University campus and hospitals, making it a popular choice for students and medical professionals.

Proximity to university and healthcare facilities, good schools, ample green spaces.

Higher demand leads to higher rents, limited parking.


Summertown is an upscale neighborhood known for its elegant architecture, boutique shops, and leafy streets.

High-end shopping and dining options, peaceful ambiance, well-regarded schools.

Higher property prices, limited availability of affordable housing.


Iffley is a charming residential area with a picturesque village feel, featuring the historic Iffley Lock and beautiful river walks.

Scenic riverside location, quiet and peaceful, good community spirit.

Relatively fewer amenities, limited public transport connections.


Botley is a diverse neighborhood with a mix of housing options, including modern developments and period properties, along with various shops and supermarkets.

Convenient shopping facilities, good transport links, variety of housing choices.

Can be busy with traffic, limited green spaces.

Life in Oxford

Oxford is home to a thriving economy, with a wide range of industries from technology and finance to tourism and education. The city is also home to numerous start-ups and established companies, and is a major hub for research and innovation.

What expats usually like the most about Oxford is the city's rich history and its vibrant culture. From the beautiful architecture of the colleges to the traditional pubs and markets, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

In Oxford, access to healthcare is generally good, with a range of NHS services, private clinics, and walk-in centres available.

Finally, it is worth noting that the University of Oxford is one of the best in the world (if not the first).

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Renting out in Oxford

If you're interested in buying property not to live in, but to rent out and generate income, this section is for you.


Tenant Profiles in Oxford

According to the data reported by Wikipedia, the home ownership rate in the UK is 63%, which is not much.

It means that, if you decide to buy and rent out in Oxford, there will be a lot of people who can become your potential tenants.

If you decide to buy and rent out to long-term tenants, you should target students, professionals, and families. Oxford is also home to a large international student population, so you should also consider targeting foreign students as well.

Here is a little summary table we've made for you.

Property type and area Profiles of potential tenants What they are looking for Expected monthly rent in $

Studio in City Centre

Students, young professionals

Urban lifestyle, proximity to university

$800 - $1,500

1-Bedroom Flat in Jericho

Academics, professionals

Cultural district, convenience

$1,000 - $2,000

Terraced House in Cowley

Young families, students

Close to amenities, affordable

$1,200 - $2,500

Apartment in Summertown

Professionals, families

Leafy suburb, upscale living

$1,500 - $3,000

2-Bedroom Flat in Headington

Students, medical professionals

Near hospitals, university

$1,000 - $2,000

Detached House in North Oxford

Affluent families, academics

Prestigious area, good schools

$2,500 - $5,000

Flat in Marston

Students, professionals

Easy access to city, quiet area

$800 - $1,600

Rental yields

Nowadays, the rental yields you get in Oxford are between 5% and 7%. There are some opportunities. So you know, a "good" rental yield is above 7%.

The best rental yields in Oxford tend to be properties located in the city centre, close to transport links and amenities. This is because they are in high demand from students and professionals alike, due to their convenient location.

For further explanation and a more detailed breakdown, you can check the reports and analyses we have made.

Finally, be aware that rental incomes in Oxford are taxed at 20%, which is rather good.


You could also decide to rent short-term to visiting academics, international students, and business travelers. Oxford is a popular tourist destination, so you could also rent to tourists looking for a short-term stay.

If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in Jericho, Summertown, and Cowley. These areas are close to the city centre and have a high demand for short-term rentals.

Currently, there are approximately 4,000 active Airbnb listings in Oxford, reflecting a highly dynamic and bustling short-term rental market. The average daily rate stands around $188, which is quite high.

You have the opportunity to generate a nice additional income stream then. According to online testimonials and analytics platform like AirDNA, Guesty and Inside Airbnb, people who offer short-term rentals in Oxford can make around $2600 per month. Also, the average occupancy rate is estimated at 71%.

Is it worth buying real estate in Oxford then?

When it comes to buying property in Oxford, it's a good idea if you're in it for the long haul. Oxford's stable economy, low crime rate, and consistent demand for rental properties make it an attractive option for long-term investors.

The city's academic prestige and association with research and technology suggest the potential for property values to increase over time, especially in areas aligned with development plans like the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.

Additionally, if you plan to use the property for personal residence and appreciate the city's rich history and culture, buying can provide stability and a unique living experience. The favorable 20% tax rate on rental incomes is also a plus for property investors.

However, if you're considering a short-term stay or have budget constraints, renting might be a more practical choice given the high property prices and associated transaction costs.

Oxford's property market can be expensive, and if you can't afford properties in the most desirable areas, it might not be worth the financial strain. Additionally, owning a property can tie up your capital, limiting financial flexibility for other opportunities.

It's crucial to carefully weigh the pros and cons, conduct thorough research, and consult with local experts to determine if buying a property in Oxford aligns with your unique circumstances and investment goals.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Oxford

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in the UK. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Oxford

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement or advice. While we strive for accuracy, we do not guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information, including text, images, links, or other elements in this material. Following the content and analyses presented here does not assure specific outcomes. For guidance tailored to your individual circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a professional, such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor.