What’s the biggest street in Banbury (OX16)?

Most weeks, my articles on the Banbury property market tackle some of the big issues about the local property market, such as the lack of new homes being built in Banbury, the trials and tribulations of being a Banbury buy-to-let landlord and the future of the Banbury property market .. yet in this article, I wanted to give you some fun facts about the Banbury property market – which is the largest street in OX16 by the number of properties on it?

The biggest street in OX16, when it comes to the number of houses on it is Bretch Hill, with 434 homes. In second place is Britannia Road with 330 homes and in third is Warwick Road with 329 homes.

Not surprisingly, the most valuable street of the top 20 biggest streets is Bretch Hill at £78.6m with an average value of £181,000 per property.

The street with the greatest number of movers in the last 3 years is Britannia Road, yet its saleability rate was only 13.0%, with Marshall Road having the highest saleability rate of 19.1%.

Yet, on a more serious note ..

The basic rudiments of the Banbury property market remain principally healthy in many parts of Banbury, yet the existing political environment means that the vital element of confidence has been diminished slightly in certain parts, and that is triggering a minority of potential property purchasers and house-sellers to vacillate, yet with unemployment at an all-time low, a record number of people with a job, ultra-low interest rates and decent mortgage availability (with the Banks and Building Societies tending to drop mortgage rates instead of increasing them), those Banbury first time buyers (and especially Banbury buy-to-let landlords) who have adjourned their next house purchase because of perceived political uncertainty should be reminded that talking to many of my fellow Banbury agents they have more homes on their books than at any time for the last three or four years, so there is a greater choice of Banbury properties to call your next home/BTL investment with a potential of securing a great property deal in the next month or so.

Irrespective of what happens with Brexit, Banbury people will still need a roof over their heads and as I have mentioned on a number of occasions, I have proved beyond doubt we aren’t building enough homes both locally in Banbury and nationally. If supply is limited and demand increases (as the population grows and we get older), prices in the medium to long term can only go in one direction. Upwards

So, whatever happens with BoJo and Brexit – why wait, because once we get over that hurdle, there will just be another hurdle and another hurdle and by which time – we will be in 2029 and you would have missed the boat. We survived the Global Financial Crash, 3-day week in 1970s’, hyperinflation etc etc … yet the choice is yours.

Saul Roux Scrivener MRICS | Associate
E: saul.scrivener@fineandcountry.com
M: +44 (0)7867 664345 | T: +44 (0)1295 239 666 | DDI: +44 (0)1295 239661

Fine & Country: 1 South Bar Street, Banbury, OX16 9AA

www.fineandcountry.com

Oxford Property Market Update Summer 2019

The foundations of the Oxford Property Market over the summer have continued to be principally sound; yet the existing political macroclimate means that the critical element of consumer confidence has been reduced and that is triggering some potential Oxford property buyers and Oxford house sellers to falter slightly and hang fire making any firm decisions on property.

With record low interest rates at 0.75%, low unemployment rates of 3.8%, and decent mortgage availability (even those with low deposits - there were 224 mortgage deals available on the day of writing this article where only a 5% deposit was required and 5 main stream lenders that would offer 100% no deposit mortgages), Oxford buyers have a lot going in their favour, aside from the perceived political uncertainty. 

Interestingly, Rightmove have stated there are more properties for sale today in the Country, than at any time since 2016, and Oxford follows that trend. Even with that in mind, property values have remained reasonably stable as The Land Registry has just released its House Price Index for Oxford and the surrounding locality and it makes very interesting reading.

Overall, property values in the Oxford area are 4.8% higher

than a year ago as the average property value in Oxford now stands at £512,300.

When I looked at the types of Oxford properties, a slightly different picture appeared .

  • Oxford Detached homes rose by 5.3%
  • Oxford Semi-detached homes rose by 5.7%
  • Oxford Terraced/Town-House rose by 5.3%
  • Oxford Flats/Apartments rose by 2.9%

and splitting down the types of Oxford into property types ..

  • Oxford Detached £822,800
  • Oxford Semi-Detached £485,900
  • Oxford Terraced/Town-House £464,100
  • Oxford Flats/Apartments £333,500


Yet, Oxford Property Market Blog readers will know I always like to measure the health of the Oxford property market not only by house prices but transaction levels as well


1,392 properties were sold in the last year in Oxford,

lower than the 10-year average of 1,964 properties per annum



Considering the uncertainty the Country has been through in the last three years with the ‘B’ word issue, I don’t think that’s too bad and shows the underlying resilience of the Oxford property market

Now looking forward towards the end of the year .. how will Oxford house values change under the new Prime Minister?

Oxford buy-to-let landlords and Oxford first-time buyers seem to be sustaining their preceding activity levels, which is heartening news. It’s quite conceivable that both cohorts are presently profiting from the marginally increased numbers of Oxford homes on the market, which not only offers them greater choice, but aids with their negotiations. The suggested Stamp Duty changes made me look at previous Stamp Duty changes in the last decade and their effects have been rather short term.

That means those selling their homes in Oxford need to be realistic with their pricing, and, as most sellers also buy a property, what you might lose on your sale you will make up on the purchase.

BoJo, Brexit … to be honest are all short-term distractions from the long-term issues of the UK and Oxford property market. Until we start building at least 300,000 properties a year to meet the demand for UK property, demand will always outstrip supply, meaning irrespective of short-term fluctuations that may (or may not) be caused by domestic and world events (including the ‘B’ word’), prices will always in the medium to long term remain stable and increase.

Joe Wright | Associate
E: joe.wright@fineandcountry.com
T: +44 (0)1865 953 247 | M: +44 (0)7825 164 163
Fine & Country: 267 Banbury Road, Summertown , Oxford, OX2 7HT
www.fineandcountry.com

Banbury Property Market Update Summer 2019


The foundations of the Banbury Property Market over the summer have continued to be principally sound; yet the existing political macroclimate means that the critical element of consumer confidence has been reduced and that is triggering some potential Banbury property buyers and Banbury house sellers to falter slightly and hang fire making any firm decisions on property.

With record low interest rates at 0.75%, low unemployment rates of 3.8%, and decent mortgage availability (even those with low deposits - there were 224 mortgage deals available on the day of writing this article where only a 5% deposit was required and 5 main stream lenders that would offer 100% no deposit mortgages), Banbury buyers have a lot going in their favour, aside from the perceived political uncertainty. 

Interestingly, Rightmove have stated there are more properties for sale today in the Country, than at any time since 2016, and Banbury follows that trend. Even with that in mind, property values have remained reasonably stable as The Land Registry has just released its House Price Index for Banbury and the surrounding locality and it makes very interesting reading.

Overall, property values in the Banbury area are 2.6% lower

than a year ago as the average property value in Banbury now stands at £344,600.

When I looked at the types of Banbury properties, a slightly different picture appeared ..


  • Banbury Detached homes dropped by 2.3%

  • Banbury Semi-detached homes dropped by 2.1%

  • Banbury Terraced/Town-House dropped by 2.7%

  • Banbury Flats/Apartments dropped by 5%


and splitting down the types of Banbury into property types ..


  • Banbury Detached £515,000

  • Banbury Semi-Detached £293,000

  • Banbury Terraced/Town-House £258,100

  • Banbury Flats/Apartments £165,400

Yet, Banbury Property Market Blog readers will know I always like to measure the health of the Banbury property market not only by house prices but transaction levels as well ..

1,186 properties were sold in the last year in Banbury,

lower than the 10-year average of 1,257 properties per annum

Considering the uncertainty the Country has been through in the last three years with the ‘B’ word issue, I don’t think that’s too bad and shows the underlying resilience of the Banbury property market.

Now looking forward towards the end of the year .. how will Banbury house values change under the new Prime Minister?

Banbury buy-to-let landlords and Banbury first-time buyers seem to be sustaining their preceding activity levels, which is heartening news. It’s quite conceivable that both cohorts are presently profiting from the marginally increased numbers of Banbury homes on the market, which not only offers them greater choice, but aids with their negotiations. The suggested Stamp Duty changes made me look at previous Stamp Duty changes in the last decade and their effects have been rather short term.

That means those selling their homes in Banbury need to be realistic with their pricing, and, as most sellers also buy a property, what you might lose on your sale you will make up on the purchase.

BoJo, Brexit … to be honest are all short-term distractions from the long-term issues of the UK and Banbury property market. Until we start building at least 300,000 properties a year to meet the demand for UK property, demand will always outstrip supply, meaning irrespective of short-term fluctuations that may (or may not) be caused by domestic and world events (including the ‘B’ word’), prices will always in the medium to long term remain stable and increase.

The Affordability of Buying Property in Oxford

Looking back at the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landing a few months ago, it reminded me of the huge changes that have happened to Oxford and more specifically the Oxford property market since WW2. Back in 1946, the average wage in Oxford was just over £5 a week and to buy an average car would cost you just under £600, yet this is a property blog, so...

The average value of an Oxford property in 1946 was £1,944

In fact, in those 75 years, the average Oxford house had doubled in price by 1961, then again in 1971, 1975, 1980, 1988, 2000 and 2006. Now a lot of those increases (especially in the 1970’s) were caused by hyperinflation, yet since the start of the 21st Century inflation has been kept low and since the Credit Crunch (2008/9), whilst property values have been rising, they haven’t been at the rates experienced in the latter half of the 20th Century.

Now what a property sells for is irrelevant, its whether someone can afford it.

Increases in Oxford property values have produced huge increases in equity for many Oxford homeowners and Oxford buy to let landlords, yet on the other side of the coin also making housing unaffordable for other people. The best measure of the affordability of housing is the ratio of Oxford property values to Oxford average earnings (i.e. salary/wages). The ratio works on the basis the higher the ratio, the less affordable properties are.

In 1997, the average value of an Oxford property was 4.6 times higher than the average annual wage in Oxford, in 2008 it peaked at 9.7, yet one year later it had dropped to 8.4 and since then has slowly risen to reach 12 times higher recently!

It can be seen that even though property in Oxford became more affordable after the 2007/8 property crash (i.e. the ratio dropped), in subsequent years, with house values rising but earnings/salaries not keeping up, the ratio started to rise. This has meant there has been a decline in affordability of property in Oxford over the last five years - so for those on particularly low incomes or with little capital, it unfortunately means that buying an Oxford home will never become an option.

Therefore, the demand for private rented properties in Oxford will continue to grow as many young Oxford people are deciding to rent instead of buy their own house (knowing when their parents pass away, the equity built up in their parents property will be passed down - and then they can buy in their 50’s and 60’s - just like it happens in Germany).

Yet, that is many decades away and with fewer Oxford people wanting or able to save up the 5% deposit required by mortgage lenders, more and more people are looking to rent. Tie this in with the subtle shift in attitudes towards renting since the Millennium and less people jumping the on the bottom rung of the property ladder, this has driven rents and demand up in Oxford over the last few years. Yet (and it’s an important proviso) the type, location and demands of Oxford tenants has changed over that same time frame meaning you can’t just make money from buy to let as easily as falling off a log like you did in the early 2000’s.

If you are an existing landlord with us (or even another agent in Oxford) or someone thinking of becoming a first time Oxford landlord looking for advice and opinion and what (or not to buy in Oxford), one source of information is the Oxford Property Blog



Joe Wright | Associate
E: joe.wright@fineandcountry.com
T: +44 (0)1865 953 247 | M: +44 (0)7825 164 163

Fine & Country: 267 Banbury Road, Summertown , Oxford, OX2 7HT

Banbury Homeowners can now build larger extensions without planning permission.

The need for more homes has always been one of the biggest issues with regard to the Country’s housing crisis. One of the main reasons for families wanting to move home is the need for more accommodation as their families grow and so in 2013 and 2015, the planning permission rules were relaxed to try an alleviate this issue

Initially in 2013, Nick Clegg, as Deputy Prime Mister, brought in temporary planning rules to allow larger single storey rear extensions without the requirement of a full planning application. The temporary rules allowed terraced and semi-detached homes to be extended by just over 19ft, whilst detached houses were able to add even bigger extensions of up to 24ft. Since those rules were relaxed six years ago, 109,320 people have taken advantage of the temporary rules (aka “permitted development size guidelines”).

Homeowners wanting to extend within these permitted development guidelines, must still inform the local authority of the extension beforehand, and local authority officials still need to then notify the neighbours. If the neighbours object, the local authority could still stop the extension being built, but only if it is likely to damage the character or enjoyment of the neighbourhood. The planning process exists for a reason and whilst these relaxed planning rules are popular with property owners, it does mean local authorities have little chance to deliberate the impact of these extensions on their locality. However, 22,779 permitted developments had been refused in the same time frame meaning, 17.2% of permitted development planning applications have been refused since 2013.

Now these temporary rules have been made permanent recently as the Government believe these measures will help households extend their properties without fighting through the time-consuming red tape of obtaining planning permission. The government believes this is part of a package of planning reforms to build more households, build them better, quicker and make the housing market work, meaning families can grow without being forced to sell and move… or does it?

The average size of a property

in Banbury is 972 sq.ft


.. internally (1,113 sq.ft externally), whilst to the national average 929 sq.ft internally (1,081 sq.ft externally). Interesting when compared to the average size of a new homes built nationally which is 12.1% lower at 818 sq.ft internally (927 sq.ft externally).


These relaxed rules are only for single-storey extensions though, when most growing families don’t need an extra downstairs reception room, they need an additional upstairs bedroom. This means if families do want an extra bedroom upstairs, they will still have to go through the rigmarole of submitting a full planning permission. Although, many Banbury people have used these rules in the last 6 years to build a decent size granny-annex – there are other options less explored out there.


There was a second (less advertised) temporary change the Government made to planning rules in 2015, that has also been made permanent recently, many may have missed it, yet it has a bigger potential impact on the housing market. The new rules make permanent the removal of planning rules to allow office blocks and shops to be converted into residential homes without a full planning application being made. Since 2013, 11,090 office blocks and 1,750 shops have been converted into residential households. This doesn’t sound a lot, but in 2017 alone, converted shops and office blocks provided 37,000 new households alone in the Country (or 17% of the new household created in 2017).


Over the next decade, more and more office blocks and shops will be converted into residential properties … and this will slowly change the dynamic of the housing market and the high street … and I’m not sure whether that will be for the good or bad ... only time will tell?


Saul Roux Scrivener MRICS | Associate
E: saul.scrivener@fineandcountry.com
M: +44 (0)7867 664345 | T: +44 (0)1295 239 666 | DDI: +44 (0)1295 239661

Fine & Country: 1 South Bar Street, Banbury, OX16 9AA

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