Oxfordshire property market – Our review of Q3

Quarter Three has concluded with a number of broadly positive developments for buyers.

Historically, interest rates remain very low. But consistent increases by the Bank of England from December 2021 – where the rate stood at 0.1% - until now are starting to hit a flat spot with the current rate at 5.25%.

As referenced in our review of Q2, media narratives this year have painted a picture of a subdued market – comparing it to trends seen prior to the 2008 financial crash. In reality, the housing market continues to remain strong – especially in Oxfordshire.

Here, we review the buying behaviours and trends our team observed over the summer and early autumn and consider the key changes that have seen Oxfordshire’s property market remain stable.

Price sensitivity

Through summer and into autumn, buying activity has remained resilient and higher than might be expected for this time of year.

While the received wisdom nationally may be that the market is cooling, in our experience locally, there is a heightened sense of price sensitivity.

As borrowing costs remain high, prospective buyers are playing hardball - they are less willing to pay over the odds for houses, which is prompting sellers to adapt.

Buyers are willing to commit to purchases, but increasingly they are sticking more closely to the asking price and adopting a tougher stance in property negotiations.

Challenges for landlords

A raft of changes in taxes and regulations in the private rented sector have introduced new challenges for landlords which has led many to consider their options.

The Renters (Reform) Bill currently progressing through Parliament is considered the most significant piece of legislation for the private rented sector in decades. It will introduce a new ombudsman for the sector, with significant fines for landlords in case of noncompliance with a number of strict new regulations.

Changes to capital gains tax saw the allowance fall from £12,300 to £6,000 in April this year, and it will be reduced to £3,000 in April 2024, meaning tax liabilities for landlords selling properties will continue to rise.

The developments outlined above and relatively high rates for buy-to let mortgages have led many landlords to judge that it is no longer profitable to rent some of their properties, and so are starting to sell their properties in increasing numbers. This has increased local housing supply, giving homebuyers more options and keeping the local prime market resilient.

Buoyant local economy

Ever-relevant considerations when discussing Oxfordshire’s prime market are the strong local economy and inherent characteristics that make it a sought-after place to live in.

The pre-eminence of the University of Oxford and the presence of one of the largest hospital trusts in the UK means Oxford is home to a world-beating knowledge economy where research, innovation and technological industries thrive.

In addition, the Government’s announcement in September of millions of pounds in subsidy for the Mini Plant to manufacture electric vehicles was seen as a vote of confidence in Oxford’s sizeable automotive industry.

Coupled with proximity and good transport links to London, the south east, south west and midlands, and a blend of excellent urban properties and rural charm, the enduring appeal of Oxfordshire as a place to live and work is a built-in feature of the local prime market.

In conclusion

There are tentative signs that interest and mortgage rates are beginning to ease, and Oxford remains one of the most coveted places to live in the UK.

For buyers and sellers alike, the property market in Oxfordshire remains strong and active, and there are plenty of opportunities available. There is still strong demand, activity and willingness to pay for good properties across Oxfordshire, but they must be marketed at the right price.

Contact us today!

Are you interested in purchasing a property in or around Oxfordshire in 2023?

If you are, why not drop our friendly team a line today via 01865 553956 or email (