Bicester Property Price Forecast – A Town On The Rise
Property prices in Bicester have risen by 46% in the last eight years – buoyed by an increasingly strong economy and low unemployment rate of 2.9%. Bicester has experienced excellent property price growth in the last 12 months, rising by 14.9%, an increase higher than that of even Oxford.
A vibrant market town that provides community spirit, luxury shopping and a quintessentially British lifestyle in one package, Bicester is benefitting from being in the burgeoning ‘Growth Corridor’ focused around Oxford, Cambridge and Milton Keynes.
While Bicester might not have the same draw as nearby cities such as Oxford and Cambridge, it’s holding its own as a destination within Oxfordshire.
The average property price currently sits at £345,774, nearly £152,000 cheaper than Oxford that sits only 15 minutes away. As affordability continues to be stretched in Oxford, the demand continues to rise.
Bill Cooper, managing director at Martin & Co, Oxford, said: “Whilst Oxford remains popular amongst investors and tenants, areas such as Bicester are fast becoming a strong alternative as both parties look for better value for their money. Bicester is more affordable to both buy and rent, offering landlords the potential to achieve higher rental yields whilst still being more affordable to the tenant.
“Additionally, Graven Hill also presents a fantastic opportunity to invest in new-build property, which is something that Oxford can no longer offer so much of due to it already being well developed. It’s a win-win situation.”
Bicester will almost certainly benefit from the ‘overflow’ of tenant demand, especially for those who work in Oxford or commute to London.
Thanks to its status as a professional and education hub, demand for Oxfordshire property has never been higher. The region’s population is forecast to grow by 13% between 2014 and 2026, rising from 668,000 to 754,000 and bringing with it an increase in housing demand by a talented and professional workforce.
With Oxford currently rated as the least affordable location in the UK, Bicester will benefit, offering prices that are much lower than that of the city but maintaining excellent accessibility across the South East.
Confidence is high in Bicester, with UK property specialist Michelle Niziol expecting property prices ‘to rise between 0.2% and 1.8% over the year’. Similarly, JLL are predicting that the average property in the South East can expect to see a price increase of 14 – 15% over the next three years as we move into 2019 and 2020.
Bicester’s status as a Garden City has drawn investors, tenant demand and redevelopment. Awarded for a ‘genuine ambition for growth’, the status of Garden City is just one step in the ‘Growing Bicester’ project.
A long-term scheme that’s aiming to redevelop the town as a major destination in Oxfordshire, ‘Growing Bicester’ is utilising a huge amount of inward investment. With millions of pounds invested, the project is aiming to develop 10,000 new homes, create 18,500 jobs and regenerate the town centre, focusing on Bicester Leisure Centre, Bicester Sports Village and town centre enhancements.
The consistently popular Bicester Village remains a top destination for residents and tourists alike, attracting six million visitors every year to its 160 designer boutiques. With designer brands and independent shops, it offers a retail experience that has helped Bicester cement its status as a Garden City, showcasing an ambition to develop different sectors.
Graven Hill is another major development occurring in the region as part of the ‘Growing Bicester’ project set out by Cherwell District Council. The largest self-build development in the UK, Graven Hill is a unique and creative development that will help increase demand and draw investment while increasing the amount of housing through homes and apartments as well as providing one million sq ft of commercial space.
Bicester’s strategic location is a huge positive for the growing property market. With easy access to a cluster of high-technology businesses, Bicester can easily reach a talented pool of professional workers. With four of the top ten universities in the world under an hour away, Bicester is well placed in the ‘Golden Triangle’ that includes London, Cambridge and Oxford.
Two railway stations, Bicester Village and Bicester North, offer excellent access to key areas around the region such as London and Oxford, the latter just 15 minutes away. The town will soon be bolstered by the East-West Rail Project, which aims to reconnect Oxford and Cambridge while providing better access between the two major cities and destinations in between. The East-West Rail Project will revitalise rail travel around Oxfordshire, reducing times and making commuting significantly easier.
This level of accessibility is excellent for investors looking at the Bicester property market. It not only provides the connectivity for tenants but also shows the confidence that the council has in the area by building and improving the travel amenities around it.
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