Oxford vs Cambridge – the age-old rivalry, but with a property market twist!

One of England’s great sporting occasions is renewed later this month when students from Oxford and Cambridge Universities take part in the historic Boat Race in London.

The Boat Race is an annual event held on the River Thames which attracts a global audience of over 15 million people. Incredibly, visitors to the River and Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames – south Oxfordshire – can still view Oxford’s first triumphant vessel from the inaugural staging of the race in 1829.

Rowing aside, Oxford and Cambridge are home to two robust property markets attracting investors, families in search of greater space and buyers looking to live with easy access to London.

Ahead of the 167th Boat Race, our team has reviewed the qualities of both markets and why Oxford and its surrounds is the location to consider a move to in 2023!

House prices

Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire’s property markets hold similar qualities and are typically resilient to UK-wide trends owing to their:

  • Strong transport links
  • Outstanding education
  • Easy access to the countryside
  • Thriving micro-economies

According to Government data, the average home in Oxfordshire is valued at £446,000 as of December 2022. That’s compared to £547,000 for buying a home in Cambridgeshire.

These figures represent a 32.6% price increase in Oxfordshire since January 2015 and a 31.4% rise in Cambridgeshire in the same period.

Economic uncertainty means growth on this scale in the coming eight years is unlikely to be replicated. But, with plans for a further 13,200 homes to be built locally by March 2031, Oxfordshire is likely to become a more desirable location to live – particularly among commuters.

READ MORE: Why we love Oxfordshire


Part of Oxfordshire’s appeal to buyers is its central location within the triangle connecting London with Birmingham and Bristol.

If you’re looking for a rural lifestyle, look no further than Oxfordshire’s three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – the Cotswolds, North Wessex Downs and the Chiltern Hills. All these locations can be accessed from Oxford city centre in 40 minutes.

In addition to spacious country homes, Oxfordshire also delivers the conveniences of urban living at costs to suit all budgets from Banbury in the north, Chipping Norton to the west, Wantage in the south and Oxford in the centre.

Cambridgeshire is over a fifth bigger than Oxfordshire, and its towns including Ely, Huntingdon, Wisbech and St Neots are spread over 3,300 square kilometres of largely rural landscape.


By car

The M40 which links London with the midlands travels through the north-east of the county while the M4 corridor runs parallel with the south and is easily accessible from Abingdon, Didcot, Wantage and Henley-on-Thames.

The M11 is east England’s only motorway and access to the midlands, north and western parts of the country from Cambridgeshire are therefore limited.

By train

A staggering 14 train stations in Oxfordshire run daily services to central London that take less than an hour.

Locations include Appleford, Bicester, Cholsey, Didcot, Hanborough, Oxford, Radley and Shiplake. By contrast, five of Cambridgeshire’s stations deliver the same service.

By air

Although Oxfordshire is not home to a commercial airport, four of the UK’s largest airports can be reached within an hour of the county including Birmingham, Heathrow, Luton and Bristol.

Gatwick, Cardiff and Stansted can be reached within two hours as well.


Both Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire boast extremely high employment levels within the knowledge intensive sector – researchers, developers and innovators.

In Oxford, this space equates to an extraordinary 73% of total employment, according to Oxford City Council. Other major employers in the county include:

Oxford University

Home to almost 15,000 academic, research and professional roles based within the city’s ring road.


Oxford’s MINI car plant in Cowley produces approximately 200,000 vehicles each year and is home to 4,000 jobs.


Oxfordshire is home to two major RAF sites – RAF Brize Norton and RAF Benson. The former is the UK’s largest RAF station.

Oxfordshire – always!

Well, we were always going to side with our home county – Oxfordshire!

As well as its changing landscapes, central location, outstanding transport links and rich culture, Oxfordshire is also home to some of the best education provisions in the country.

In fact, 28 British Prime Ministers, over 30 international leaders, 55 Nobel Prize winners and 120 Olympic medal winners have graduated from Oxford University alone!

If you’re considering buying a home in Oxfordshire in 2023, why not drop our friendly team a message today to learn more about how using a buying agent can save you time, money and take the stress out of searching for a new property.

You can:

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Or call us direct via – 01865 553956

We hope to hear from you soon!