Aah, Oxford. Home to one of the world’s most prestigious universities, the city is well-known for its quaint cobbled streets and its towering spires, and its residents range from families to well-heeled intellectuals and their pensive students. Markets, museums and boating on the River Thames all make for wonderful weekend adventures for Oxford residents, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Oxfordshire as a county is renowned for its historic market towns and villages, complete with thatched cottages, expansive parks and cosy country pubs. Oxford Prestige has brought together the best locations when it comes to buying and renting in the region, whatever you’re looking for from your next abode.
For affluent intellectuals
Oxford’s bohemian hub, chilled out Jericho is home to well-to-do residents who, well, just don’t want to leave Jericho. A former student haven, the area’s dwellers enjoy hip cocktail bars, Oxford’s oldest surviving cinema, independent shops, Oxford University Press’ printing house, and quirky pubs showcasing the best of the city’s live music. Jericho is also known for its pastel coloured houses, which are guaranteed to brighten up a morning walk through the neighbourhood’s streets.
If you’re looking to live in one of Observatory Street’s pastel two-up two-downs, it will put you out between £650,000 and £700,000. Renters can expect to pay around £620 per month to live in a spacious double room in a flat with sharers, although costs can rise for more desirable locations. You get what you pay for, though, and buying or renting a house in Jericho is essentially like buying a pass into the coolest neighbourhood ever.
Resting on a controversial history, Cutteslowe is a suburb in north Oxford. In 1934, nine-foot walls were built in the area to divide the working-class residents of a council estate and the middle-class residents dwelling in private housing. In 1959, the spike-topped walls came down, and 61 years later the area – though affluent – is a lot more welcoming. Cutteslowe’s residential feel makes it an ideal location for families, and local school Cutteslowe Primary School was rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted. The neighbourhood is also home to Oxford’s largest park, Cutteslowe and Sunnymead Park.
Buyers can expect to pay between £550,000 and £650,000 for a three bedroom semi-detached house, though this fluctuates depending on how desirable the area is considered. Sharers could find themselves paying around £570 per month for a room in a HMO property, coming in a little cheaper than those more central neighbourhoods such as Jericho.
Renowned for its shark – yes, its 25-foot long fibreglass shark, which is embedded head-first into the roof of a New High Street home – Headington is a quirky neighbourhood with a relaxed, residential feel. The area is a hub for foodies, particularly those who enjoy Asian, Italian and Lebanese dishes, and it is also bursting at the seams with classic British pubs. This makes it a hotspot for students, who benefit from Headington’s vintage shops and The Kilns (C. S. Lewis’ former home). Headington’s 117 hectare Shotover Country Park also offers hidden valleys and unique landscapes for nature loving locals.
For buyers, a three bedroom semi-detached house usually starts at around the £425,000 mark, and can reach £800,000 for those high-end properties. However, renters – particularly students – are in luck here, and can bag a double room in a shared property for between £450 and £700 per month, depending on area and quality of housing.
For the quiet life
Reputedly Oxfordshire’s most haunted village, the picturesque Minster Lovell is situated near Witney, in the Cotswolds. Historic ruins can be found throughout the quiet village, including the 15th century manor house Minster Lovell Hall, which sits on the peaceful River Windrush. If you’re looking for thatched cottages of characteristic Cotswold stone, traditional pubs with roaring fireplaces and restaurants with striking views, the village should certainly be on your list. Charlbury railway station, seven miles away from Minster Lovell, takes commuters to London Paddington in one hour 15 minutes.
If you’re looking to buy in Minster Lovell, you can find a three bedroom detached house for around £350,000, making it more affordable than many other areas in Oxfordshire. Though the rental market in the village is limited, house shares and other properties sometimes pop up, and a large double en suite room is likely to cost around £600 per month in a shared property.
For a market town
Situated in south Oxfordshire, Wallingford is a quaint and lively market town. Independent shops and quirky antique stores line the streets here, alongside cosy cafés and riverside pubs. History buffs can get their fill at the ruins of Wallingford Castle, which was formerly the royal abode of Henry VIII but now serves as castle gardens, perfect for a peaceful stroll. The town is also a hub of all things murder mystery, having influenced many of Agatha Christie’s works and being the filming location of Midsomer Murders. Wallingford is also surrounded by the striking Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Chiltern Hills.
If you’re thinking about buying in Wallingford, a three bedroom semi-detached house will cost you between £375,000 and £500,000, with the property market featuring many high-end dwellings. Rental properties are abundant in the town, and a double room in a shared property will cost between £350 and £650 per month, depending on the area and the facilities offered.