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The bears are well fed in Oxford..

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In April last year the GF and I viewed three flats in a block in North Oxford (Wolvercote) - a nice location on the outskirts of the city (just inside the ring road), not badly presented units inside, but a bit "basic" and certainly small.

The viewing format was horrible - "open houses" with maybe fifteen other interested parties kettled into / herded around the three properties by a smug agent and her 18yr old, 1st-day-on-the-job sidekick who, while she was trying was utterly clueless.. her only worth evidently being to shuffle the throng from one property / room to the next. 

IIRC there were two properties advertised at £225k and one at £230k because it had a garage. I can only identify two in the RM sold data:

No.20 (no garage), advertised for £225k and bid up to / sold for £240k in October 2016

No.4 (with garage), advertised for £230k and bit up to / sold for £258k on August 2016

 

Two more have also sold last year:

No.16 which sold for £237k in January 2016

No.32, which sold for £245k in November 2016 (This might have been the other one we viewed, having completed pretty late)

 

While recently two more have been listed for sale:

One at £225k on the 5th of June which has just become "sold STC"

And, far more promisingly / tellingly a good friend recently brought to my attention another, with a garage that went on at £230k on the 16th of June and has just been reduced to £225k.

 

Comparing the two properties with garages suggests a stark difference between last year's which was bid up from the asking price to £258k and this year's, which they evidently couldn't shift at £230k, so areexpecting to get £225k (or less) for. Assuming the properties are comparable (floorplan should be identical but admittedly the current one is 2nd floor while the other was 1st) that's a drop of £33k / 12% just comparing the sold price of one to the asking price of the other; not taking into account the very likely possibility that the one currently for sale will go for below asking.

This trend is nicely inkeeping with the latest Hometrack data, which suggestd that in April prices in Oxford fell by nearly 5% over the preceding quarter and 0.6% annually.

I suppose flats such as this are more likely to be hit harder than other properties if BTL demand dries up, which appears to have been the case.


In addition I've been keeping an eye on Kidlington (a town just on the outskirts that's 50% characterless '90s built boxes). Prices here were silly for a while, enjoying the overspill from those priced out of the city while a new station (that evidenly nobody was actually really bothered about), added lots of froth and agent excitement. I reckon the market here peaked at around this time last year and has been on the way down ever since.

Not that I really want to live there at all, but I've been watching this 1-bed, 30-odd m^2 shoebox, which originally went on in November last year at £225k and has subsequently been reduced in £10-15k chunks until arriving at £185k around a month ago, and it still hasn't sold. While one has to be careful of drawing conclusions from kite-flying asking prices, that's a fall of £40k / nearly 18% over the 6 months it's lingered on the market, and clearly nobody is prepared to pay even that. 

Another that's come to my attention is this 2 bed / 51m^2 flat, listed in November last year at £235k, dropped to £200k in March and now lingering at £190k - a fall of 19%.

Also of note are some apparently newly-convered / refurbed flats above a restaurant or similar (clearly the wares of a speculative developer) that saw similar falls and have now apparently completely disappeared from the market (they're not even showing in my RM saved properties for some reason).

Property coming to market remains low (there was a glut of 60ish m^2 houses last year at aroind the £280k mark, many of which were reduced to £255-260k, sold and now the supply appears to have dried up).
 

I'm trying to get my hopes up too much due to the low supply (and there seems to have been a surge of stuff selling recently), however price-wise the Oxford market looks considerably more flat than it did this time last year, while Kidlington was undeniably overpriced and has taken a pounding. I'm wondering if the jump in sales volume is due to agents finally suffering cashflow issues and talking down seller price expectations to get stuff sold...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, dougless said:

But Oxford is special.  I have known a few people who lived there over the years and that is always their response.

"Special" how? It's certainly special in that it has a sky-high house price to earnings ratio, very few places to build more houses (good), and has seen massive HPI in the past few years, only rivalled by London and Cambridge.

 

While it's not perfect, personally I love the place and would ber very happy to buy here. Obviously judging by the house prices I'm not the only one, although things do seem to be looking up. Apparently around 20% of the properties are rental too, so perhaps a BTL exodus might have a greater impact in this part of the world than in other parts of the country.

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Hi there,

Good OP. Nice read! I'm from Oxford, renting in Botley currently. I also have been watching Rightmove & Zoopla over the past year, hoping things deflate slightly also. I have also been over-reading every news article for any signs of change, my post soon will show.

A couple more things I'd like to add:

  • Housing stock for Students

There's currently large scale development on new student flats for Brookes University. I believe there's more choice than ever than when I was a student almost a decade ago. This should relieve housing stock on the centre, if Brookes decide not to intake a greater number of students. Oxford Brookes exceeded this last year on their quota:

http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/news/14928190.Oxford_Brookes_University_exceeds_quota_for_students_living_in_the_community/

Which sadly helped the BLT Market for lack of supply, as they had too many students!

I also believe the landscape of number of International students applying to study at Oxford University & Oxford Brookes is falling. (Links below for stats)

  1. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/overseas-student-enrolments-uk-universities-fall-again
  2. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/eu-students-numbers-apply-uk-universities-fall-7-per-cent-brexit-latest-news-figures-a7558131.html
  • Proposed Greenbelt developments

I think there are 3 main areas of possible development at the moment in Oxford.

  1. Near Eynsham
  2. Upper Marston/Lower Kidlington
  3. Cowley, Grenoble Road.
  4. Others possible: http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/15049308.Fears_17_000_homes_could_destroy_Green_Belt___your_say/

Any of which, if actually went ahead - would be a major revealer of housing stock. 

On current developments, I'm awaiting what the shocking prices will be for the new Barton Hill development near the JR at the end of the summer.

My bets are starting at around £275,000 or so! 

I was tempted to go view the Shoe Boxed house in Kidlington as it seems to be the only one in the Market near-enough a sensible price! 

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On 27/06/2017 at 11:43 PM, Oxtrader said:

Hi there,

Good OP. Nice read! I'm from Oxford, renting in Botley currently. I also have been watching Rightmove & Zoopla over the past year, hoping things deflate slightly also. I have also been over-reading every news article for any signs of change, my post soon will show.

A couple more things I'd like to add:

  • Housing stock for Students

There's currently large scale development on new student flats for Brookes University. I believe there's more choice than ever than when I was a student almost a decade ago. This should relieve housing stock on the centre, if Brookes decide not to intake a greater number of students. Oxford Brookes exceeded this last year on their quota:

http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/news/14928190.Oxford_Brookes_University_exceeds_quota_for_students_living_in_the_community/

Which sadly helped the BLT Market for lack of supply, as they had too many students!

I also believe the landscape of number of International students applying to study at Oxford University & Oxford Brookes is falling. (Links below for stats)

  1. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/overseas-student-enrolments-uk-universities-fall-again
  2. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/eu-students-numbers-apply-uk-universities-fall-7-per-cent-brexit-latest-news-figures-a7558131.html
  • Proposed Greenbelt developments

I think there are 3 main areas of possible development at the moment in Oxford.

  1. Near Eynsham
  2. Upper Marston/Lower Kidlington
  3. Cowley, Grenoble Road.
  4. Others possible: http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/15049308.Fears_17_000_homes_could_destroy_Green_Belt___your_say/

Any of which, if actually went ahead - would be a major revealer of housing stock. 

On current developments, I'm awaiting what the shocking prices will be for the new Barton Hill development near the JR at the end of the summer.

My bets are starting at around £275,000 or so! 

I was tempted to go view the Shoe Boxed house in Kidlington as it seems to be the only one in the Market near-enough a sensible price! 

Thanks! It sounds like we're both in a pretty similar situation.. funnily enough the GF and I moving to North Hinksey this weekend after the flat we were renting got sold (wasn't BTL and was sold to OOs).

Thanks for the info on Brookes - didn't know about the development but it doesn't surprise me tbh. I was there (as well?) between 2001 and 2006 - expansion was rampant as they scrambled for the fees; particularly from the foreign students who were a lot more lucrative back then (not sure if that's still the case now).

I'd completely agree about falling foreign student numbers (Brexit, rising tuition costs etc) although I suppose this could be offset to an extent by our weak currency.

I'm not at all a fan of all this proposed development / building on greenbelt land (I love the countryside and the small city, and wouldn't want it to end up a sprawling mass of characterless newbuild boxes like Bicester). Rightly or wrongly I get the impression (and hope) that what building is taking place now (Barton Hill and the student accommodation you mention) will be completed in a falling market; the additional volume acting to further suppress prices. As such I'd hope it would both help our cause and perhaps shelve the suggestion of further greenbelt construction.

I wouldn't like to speculate as to potential prices for the new Barton development - assuming it's all 2+ bedroom houses, looking at the prices in Barton (or as the scumbag agents always euphemistically call it "Headington"), Sandhills, Headington-proper etc and applying the usual new-build surcharge, I'd expect them to be £300k+ in the current market.. but I'd be happy to be proven wrong!

Not sure if you've looked at the Hometrack figures this month but prices in the city have had a bit of an uptick since last month, changing the apparent trend somewhat from the "hopefully falling off a cliff" of last month to flat-lining since June last year.. not as drastic as I'd like but of course better than perpetual growth.

The shoebox is still there and tbh I'm tempted to bowl in with an offer of £150k since it seems they can't give it away.. I'm certainly attracted to the proposition of smashing a small mortgage down in 5-10yrs rather than subscribing to a lifetime of debt on a more expensive property, although I think such a small space would be tiring to live in and I wouldn't want to regret committing to something now, just as the market seems to be getting "interesting"!

 

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On 2017-6-22 at 10:00 AM, ftb_fml said:

.


In addition I've been keeping an eye on Kidlington (a town just on the outskirts that's 50% characterless '90s built boxes). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of the estate houses in Kidlington were built in the 60s, 70s and 80s. The only 'estate' built during the (late) 90s was the area around Foxdown Close and early 2000s was Croxford Gardens. 

 

I grew up and went to school in Kidlington 

Edited by maffo in oxford

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On 01/07/2017 at 9:26 AM, maffo in oxford said:

Most of the estate houses in Kidlington were built in the 60s, 70s and 80s. The only 'estate' built during the (late) 90s was the area around Foxdown Close and early 2000s was Croxford Gardens. 

 

I grew up and went to school in Kidlington 

Thanks for setting me straight!

I vaguely remember seeing some houses around the south end of Grovelands listed on RM as having been sold as newbuilds in the mid '90s too.. I've tried to find some more build dates but was unsuccessful - when would you suggest that the majority of the building to the West between the A4260 and the canal was completed?  This seems to be where the bulk of properties "within my budget" were coming up.. although it seems that nothing of significance has hit the market for months now..

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On 07/07/2017 at 10:38 PM, Oxtrader said:

Well here it is.. A mini-site has opened and I've been emailed the primarily pricelist for the new Barton Hill flats:

http://mosaicsoxford.co.uk/

*Cries quietly in the dark corner of the Lamb & Flag*

pricebartonhill.jpg

Don't cry, laugh - those prices are absolute comedy gold!

Who the hell is going to pay such an obscene premium for any of those properties when they're located outside (on the edge of) the ring road and right next to Oxford's very own crime hotspot..? Granted they're not as close to the hospitals or Brookes but less than 75% of what they're asking for the 3 bed houses would get you a nice '30s three bed semi in Botley, which IMO is a far nicer part of the world and I suspect would be built to a much higher standard too. I bet there are plenty of decent flats far closer to the city centre for the £380k budget too.

I can see the launch of these (assumedly) bland new-build boxes corresponding nicely with a crashing market in the city.. hopefully these greedy developers will take an absolute shoeing as a result :D

As an aside, if you're a dirt-poor HPC'er shouldn't you be on the budget Sam Adams in the Three Goat's Heads rather than frittering your money away on premium booze in the Lamb and Flag? :P

 

On 08/07/2017 at 4:32 PM, Oxtrader said:

A slightly unrelated topic, but a bit of fun. 

The new carfax tower flats for students, not very many room (less than 20 I think)

http://www.accommodationforstudents.com/studentprivatehalls/lphs.asp?id=3054

£225 per week for 51 week contracts.

Crikey - that's steep if perhaps not surprising given the location, inclusives and target demographic..

 

I'm trying not to wish my life away, but awaiting the next Hometrack figures for the city with baited breath.. especially since the whole of the MSM seems to have turned super-bearinsh in the last few weeks!

 

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A 3 bed semi on a corner plot near daughter in Headington - quiet road and v convenient location - was bought by developer who proceeded to tack another 3 bed on the side.  Both were recently up for £450k but I see that the remaining one on the end is now down to 'offers over' £425k.  

Friend of daughter recently accepted an offer of £325k IIRC for Headington  flat - nice flat, v good central location but on the small side.  It was originally on for about £365k. 

It'll be interesting to see what happens with that Mosaics development.  Prices they are quoting for Barton, and both outside and close to the ring road, look highly optimistic to say the least. Are they hoping for Chinese/Malaysian buyers who will just see 'Oxford' and not immediately think Barton/bargepole...

 

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On 29/07/2017 at 3:27 PM, Mrs Bear said:

A 3 bed semi on a corner plot near daughter in Headington - quiet road and v convenient location - was bought by developer who proceeded to tack another 3 bed on the side.  Both were recently up for £450k but I see that the remaining one on the end is now down to 'offers over' £425k.  

Friend of daughter recently accepted an offer of £325k IIRC for Headington  flat - nice flat, v good central location but on the small side.  It was originally on for about £365k. 

It'll be interesting to see what happens with that Mosaics development.  Prices they are quoting for Barton, and both outside and close to the ring road, look highly optimistic to say the least. Are they hoping for Chinese/Malaysian buyers who will just see 'Oxford' and not immediately think Barton/bargepole...

 

I know the house your talking about and sadly now under offer. Been a rightmove addict, is this the flat your friends daughter has accepted an offer on ? http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-47144121.html remember it going on around £385k dropping to £365k then £340k. 

This makes me wince though, a converted house to to crappy flats. They've gone to town on twigs in vases and think that justifies the price. No photo's of the outside as its an ugly box but you can see how shit it looks  from street view. http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-47334045.html under offer £395k, ******ing mental! be shocked if it goes through 

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No, that's not the friend's  flat. 

It'll be interesting to see what the 'tacked on' house eventually sold for.  The first sold some time ago but I haven't checked yet. 

I see what you mean about the Kennet Road flat - would seem that agents are still pricing 'optimistically' to put it politely. It's a very convenient location for shops, transport, park and primary school, but still crazy for under 60 sq m. 

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Morning! Hope you're all well Oxfordians :)

I've actually taken my eye off the property market for a while. Had a spate of viewings for 1-2 Bed flats/terraced places around Abingdon, Bicester & Witney. As these are all places that hit my modest £210-230k price range. Quite often enough, they're maisonettes or cramped spaces - not great for starting a family

As for HTB..

I did see a property on Kingsmere estate in Bicester. For a 2 bed Coach house at £290,000.

But what struck me about this property is the length of offers they're starting to have to add to sell:

  • Stamp Duty Paid
  • £1,500 towards Legal Fees
  • 5% Gifted Deposit  

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/new-homes-for-sale/property-55451099.html?backListLink=%2Fnew-homes-for-sale%2Fproperty-55451099.html

I could never afford the monthly on these HTB plots though after you factor in the Equity loan & mortgage. 

Really hope they don't extend these House priced Prop'ed schemes on 22nd of Nov. 

Just some ramblings. 

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On ‎20‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 10:01 AM, Oxtrader said:

New homes that will cost more than any existing homes for on the market, yay. Oxford council are dire at building anything which is why its a magnet for btl landlords. Fixed supply!

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On 11/09/2017 at 7:38 PM, houseface2000 said:

I know the house your talking about and sadly now under offer. Been a rightmove addict, is this the flat your friends daughter has accepted an offer on ? http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-47144121.html remember it going on around £385k dropping to £365k then £340k. 

This makes me wince though, a converted house to to crappy flats. They've gone to town on twigs in vases and think that justifies the price. No photo's of the outside as its an ugly box but you can see how shit it looks  from street view. http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-47334045.html under offer £395k, ******ing mental! be shocked if it goes through 

That tacked-on house in Hawthorn Avenue must have fallen through - up again for 'guide price' £425k.  It's only just over 74 sq m.  Possibly a record for a 3 bed house?  The bedrooms are actually a reasonable size, but there are no cupboards anywhere as far as I can see, and no hall or landing space to speak of, , either.  

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23 minutes ago, Mrs Bear said:

That tacked-on house in Hawthorn Avenue must have fallen through - up again for 'guide price' £425k.  It's only just over 74 sq m.  Possibly a record for a 3 bed house?  The bedrooms are actually a reasonable size, but there are no cupboards anywhere as far as I can see, and no hall or landing space to speak of, , either.  

Yeah noticed that came back on as well. Looks like stuffs stopped going up but the hpi has spread from just prime areas to all a areas like a cancer. There's now little added premium between prime, village and shit area. By that I mean percentage of hpi from the last peak.

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16 hours ago, houseface2000 said:

Also noticed this been on for about 3 monthshttp://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-69195149.html

 

last identical one sold in the same block August 2015 for £320k so zero inflation in 3 years. If it sells at all that is

Looks like an ex rental - minimal stuff and no onward chain. Another LL hoping to get out while the going's still good?  

Bit of a daft layout IMO - unnecessarily large main  bathroom with a small 2nd bedroom.  Flats with 2 proper double bedrooms usually seem to sell more easily than those with a double and a single - even if EAs still call no. 2 a double just because you can fit a dbl bed in, never mind if there's no room for much else. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mrs Bear said:

Looks like an ex rental - minimal stuff and no onward chain. Another LL hoping to get out while the going's still good?  

Bit of a daft layout IMO - unnecessarily large main  bathroom with a small 2nd bedroom.  Flats with 2 proper double bedrooms usually seem to sell more easily than those with a double and a single - even if EAs still call no. 2 a double just because you can fit a dbl bed in, never mind if there's no room for much else. 

 

 

Yeah didn't notice the second bedroom is tiny.  Tbh I know the area and it's nice. The building is also nice. Compared to other flats it's not a bad buy they rent for £1250

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Just checked daughter's area again - OX3 - several empty HMOs just on the first page of zoopla. 

Courtesy of their 'most reduced' feature, how about this?  A 5 bed in fairly central Headington, originally on for £745k in Jul 2017, now 'offers over' £599,999!  

Last sale, Aug 1999, £98,500!  Methinks owner can afford to drop quite a bit more...

 

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4 hours ago, Mrs Bear said:

Just checked daughter's area again - OX3 - several empty HMOs just on the first page of zoopla. 

Courtesy of their 'most reduced' feature, how about this?  A 5 bed in fairly central Headington, originally on for £745k in Jul 2017, now 'offers over' £599,999!  

Last sale, Aug 1999, £98,500!  Methinks owner can afford to drop quite a bit more...

 

@30k annual rent you will be lucky to get 320k mortgage under PRA rules. So the price is max of £400k.

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