Relocating to Oxford: the lettings market

Oxford needs little introduction. It’s the home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world and a hive of business activity – there are 4,600 businesses providing 114,000 jobs. For all its dreaming spires and period architecture, Oxford is a forward-thinking city.

The local government works closely with both the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University through their Knowledge Exchange Teams, as well as collaborating closely with OxLEP – Oxfordshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership – which brings together local authorities and business to support strategic economic growth. Oxford is also part of the Government’s SuperConnected Cities Programme, designed to deliver superfast broadband, and is just over an hour by rail to London.


Oxford is a top three relocation choice among global science, medical and technology companies. Investment by the universities makes Oxford an alluring destination – it retains graduates, creates world-leading facilities and attracts employees on an international scale. Life science and space technologies feature heavily in the city, complemented by a flourishing creative and digital sector, and a strong presence from electronics, automotive and motorsport companies. Of course, the two universities are prolific employers themselves.


As you would expect from a seat of educational excellence, the offshoot is a thriving research and business landscape that encompasses a number of business parks. Oxford Business Park is already home to 69 companies and 5,500 employees, who are set across 1 million sq ft of floor space close to the M40 and M4. Household names that have made the park home include BT IT Services, Oxfam, Centrica, Royal Mail, Harley Davidson Europe and the Inland Revenue.

Oxford Science Park is an equally as powerful business centre, with more than 2,400 people and over 65 companies operating from the facility that’s owned and managed by Magdalen College, Oxford. Businesses here have a heavy bioscience and technology slant, and include companies such as NetworkPharma, OxSonics, Regus, Powertrib, IBM Telelogic, Izon Science and Sharp Laboratories of Europe.

As well as life sciences and traditional technologies, Oxford is also at the forefront of the digital revolution sweeping the UK. As part of TechCity UK – a movement to accelerate the growth of the UK’s digital economy – Oxford has become a digital cluster, with an estimated 22,000 people in digital employment in the area. Local businesses staffed by local talent, including Natural Motion Games, Dark Blue Labs and Vision Factory, have recently been acquired by Zynga and Google, illustrating that global entities have their eye firmly trained on Oxford.

Growth in the private sector is being matched in the public sector, with an overarching city masterplan that links a revamped Oxford City train station with the regeneration of the West End, Frideswide Square, Oxpens (300 or more houses and flats) and Westgate Centre (a revitalized retail hub creating more than 3,400 jobs) and Barton (875 new homes).

In terms of Oxford employees and where they live, it is a city roughly divided in half. According to the 2011 Census, of the 100,000 people who had their main job in Oxford – 46,000 of them lived outside the city. Unlike other metropolis, Oxford city centre is awash with period properties over shiny new build developments – The Heyes in Gloucester Green, The Malthouse in Castle Quarter and the Grade II listed Regency terraces in Jericho being three fine heritage examples.

Within a mile of the city centre are some lavish and impressive family homes, with the most prestigious found to the north (Summertown) and south west (North Hinksey Village, Yarnells Hill and Osney Islands) of the city centre. More value can be found in the south east (Iffley Fields and Cowley) and in the east (Marston).

In terms of rents to pay, has the following average figures for Oxford: one-bedroom properties at £1,491 per calendar month (pcm), two bedrooms at £1,824 pcm, three bedrooms at £1,771 pcm and four bedrooms at £2,399.

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Our relocation agents are currently active in Oxford, monitoring the private rental market, sourcing properties close to employment hubs and helping settle home movers. If you have clients relocating to Oxford and would like orientation and rental advice, contact Klippa Relocation today.


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