The 'City of Dreaming Spires' has become the stuff of dreams for many homebuyers looking for a slice of something quintessentially British, and it's easy to see why, as it epitomises most aspects of British life

William Kirkland

Partner, Head of Oxford office william.kirkland@knightfrank.com

Oxford is a wonderful place to live. Thanks to its rich cultural heritage and an exceptional range of state and private schooling, it draws a wide circle of buyers from not just the UK, but around the world.

Many are drawn to the Universities, Hospitals and Science Parks in the knowledge that their children will be able to access world class educational facilities. London is an hour by car and with two mainline rail stations to Paddington and Marylebone it offers the commuter a range of options. In addition, Heathrow and Gatwick airports are just an hour away by car or rail.

Being one of the smaller cities in the UK with a population of circa 150,000, available housing stock is always fairly limited. The city offers mostly Victorian and Edwardian homes with a smaller but increasing number of new build.

Popular destinations are central and north Oxford in the OX2 postcode. Here the local shopping in Summertown combined with the open spaces of University Parks and Port Meadow, together with the proximity to the city centre mean that it has become the number one destination for family buyers.

Activity levels are high and, despite being early in the post lockdown period, have indicated that buyers are keen to resume their house hunting and pick up from where they left off in March. We have agreed a number of sales that show that the market in Oxford is proving yet again to be resilient in spite of economic downturn.

Oxford in numbers

The average price of a property sold by Knight Frank in Oxford (2019)


How old are buyers in Oxford?

30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70+

Known as the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’, Oxford is perhaps one of England’s most quintessential ancient cities.

Steeped in history that’s closely intertwined with the city's beautiful university colleges, Oxford has a unique atmospheric blend of culture, academia, architectural styles and modern vibrancy. If you can get past the many galleries and museums, including the Ashmolean (art and archaeology), Pitt Rivers (archaeology and ethnography), Modern Art Oxford and Oxford University Museum of Natural History, then Oxford’s eclectic selection of shops make it a strong home for all tastes. For major high street names, head to Queen Street, Cornmarket Street and Westgate Shopping Centre, while plenty of individual boutiques are tucked away down Oxford’s labyrinth of cobbled side streets.

Who lives here?

Oxford is very much a beacon of Britishness to international buyers, as Knight Frank data suggests, with a large proportion of buyers working in professional industries.

• South East London International Scotland South West Wales

Where do buyers come from?

What are Knight Frank buyers' professions?

• City/Finance

• Entrepreneur

• Industry

• Other

• Professional

• Property

Where people move from

• International London Scotland South East South West Wales

Buyers' source of wealth

• City/Finance Entrepreneur Industry Inherited Professional Property

Active living forms the cornerstone for most lifestyles in Oxford, with the River Thames playing a significant role in many of them.

Despite its cosmopolitan atmosphere, Oxford is surrounded by the pastoral countryside of Oxfordshire, encompassing parts of the magnificent Cotswolds. Prime walking country is on your doorstep, just moments from the centre, while the city offers plenty of active and outdoorsy delights of its own.

Bisected by the River Thames, water sports are a big part of Oxford’s heritage, including, of course, it’s university rowing team. However, you don’t have to be a student to get involved, with the City of Oxford rowing club offering courses for all ages and abilities. If you’re after more of a gentle trip down the river, head to one of the many boat houses and hire a punt for the day, one of the most traditional and relaxing (perhaps less so for the punter) ways to see the Thames.

It's hard to detach Oxford from its world-famous educational institutions ­– and for good reason.

Education is at the very heart of the city of Oxford. While the university buildings are the cornerstones of the cityscape, earlier education is also outstanding throughout the city and the wider county of Oxfordshire, including esteemed schools such as Magdalen College School, Oxford High School GDST, d’Overbroeck’s, St Edward’s, Abingdon School and Wychwood School for girls.

What can you get for your money in Oxford?

Complins Close, OX2

Guide Price: £750,000

4 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms 2 Reception rooms


Lonsdale Road, OX2

Guide Price: £1,465,000

3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms 1 Reception room


Hunters Chase, OX1

Guide Price: £2,950,000

6 Bedrooms | 5 Bathrooms 4 Reception rooms


All property has been sold by Knight Frank within the past 12 months. The guide prices shown are representative of their appraised pricing and not their final sale price.

Get in touch to book an appointment ­– we'd love to talk to you about your next move.


Visit us at:

274 Banbury Rd, Summertown, Oxford, OX2 7DY +44 (0) 1865 988 921