UK Housing Crisis – What 60,000 new homes in Oxfordshire will mean to the region’s existing property market

New build properties in the UK are in high demand, and Oxfordshire is no exception.

During the 2021-22 financial year, 204,530 new homes were built in the UK amid population growth, demand among people currently living in unsuitable accommodation and affordability pressures.

Development plans for Oxfordshire are well underway, with experts forecasting that 60,000 new homes are required between now and 2040 to align with the region’s economic growth.

Following a Housing Need Consultation by Oxford City Council, Oxford Property Consulting’s team of experts consider if the volume of new-build homes is likely to impact Oxfordshire’s existing property market in our latest blog.

Housing crisis explained

Simply put, the UK’s ‘housing crisis’ is down to demand for new-build, affordable, homes outstripping supply.

This means people are trapped living in temporary accommodation or have to pay over the odds for properties which leaves them with very little – if any – disposable income and impedes their ability to save for a deposit or get a mortgage.

The roots of the housing crisis date back to the 1980s, where schemes such as Right to Buy prompted a surge of buyers to purchase council-owned properties. Since then, governments have wrestled to build enough new homes deemed affordable to replace properties that have been sold to private buyers.

This cycle continues today.

Oxford Plan 2040

At the heart of housing development plans in Oxfordshire is Oxford City Council’s Local Plan 2040.

The document will set out where new homes, businesses and community facilities will be built to make Oxfordshire a better place for people to live, work and visit.

Using Cambridge Econometrics’ (CE) projection for economic growth for Oxfordshire, the plan recommends a need for 4,406 dwellings each year from 2025 until 2040 across the county.

Oxford City would account for the highest number of new homes per year. Below is a full breakdown of new homes to each region:

  • Oxford City – 1,322 new homes each year
  • Cherwell – 1,009 new homes each year
  • South Oxfordshire – 793 new homes each year
  • Vale of the White Horse – 714 new homes each year
  • West Oxfordshire – 564 new homes each year

Local impact

So, what would an additional 60,000 plus new homes in Oxfordshire mean to the region’s existing property market?

Oxford Property Consulting Managing Director Ben Procter believes the prices of existing buildings will be unaffected by the Oxford Plan 2040.

“There simply aren’t enough houses to meet demand,” said Ben. “Typically, we hear two sides to the story when discussing the housing crisis.

“Some people don’t want more homes to be built on rural land, while others need homes to be built so their children can be in a position to purchase a property at an affordable price when they grow up.

“In reality, 60,000 new houses by 2040 is a drop in the ocean and we see no reason why the development of this amount of homes by 2040 will have any impact on the existing property market.

“Oxfordshire is a fantastically unique county that blends an urban lifestyle with country living. It’s why house prices locally often resist national trends and contribute to a robust market.”

READ MORE: Why we love Oxfordshire

What has the Council said?

Oxford City Council has acknowledged demand for new homes in Oxford is greater than the capacity of the region to deliver new-build properties.

Despite Cambridge Econometrics suggesting 1,322 new homes are required in Oxford alone each year, latest documents suggest 457 dwellings per year is more realistic.

The council’s report adds: “Delivery of housing is a priority, and in drafting policies and allocating sites for the Oxford Local Plan 2040 we will maximise housing delivery, while meeting other needs and protecting what is important.

“Most if not all of the proportion of unmet need implied by the need figure compared to the estimated capacity is likely to have been already provided for in existing allocations in neighbouring Council’s local plans. The City Council will work closely with our neighbours as we and they continue to refine proposals for our respective local plans.”

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