OXFORD is the least affordable city in the UK in which to buy a home, new data shows.
The average price of £340,864 for a property in the city is now 11.25 times more than the average resident’s earnings, leaving many people unable to afford even a one-bedroom flat.
That figure has risen significantly on the 9.8 reported last year in the Lloyds Bank Affordable Cities Review.
City experts say prices are being driven by investors from elsewhere in the UK and abroad, as well as a lack of supply.
Jakub Boronczyk and wife Gosha have been looking to move from East Oxford to North Oxford, but are finding themselves priced out of the market.
The couple recently bid the full £250,000 asking price for a one-bedroom flat in St Margaret’s Road, North Oxford, only to find there were three other offers on the property.
It quickly sold for £270,000, eight per cent above its advertised value.
Architectural designer Mr Boronczyk, 34, said: “We are registered with several agents but when we ring about properties that come up, we find they have gone already. We wanted to move closer to the city centre but we are being pushed away now.”
Darren Hazell, of Headington-based TLC Sales and Lettings, has recently launched the sales side of his agency.
He said: “I started with four properties on my books and sold two of them in less than a week.
“One of them was to a young person being funded by their parents and the other was to an investor from out of the area. I also have another investor looking to buy.
“Investors seem to have money again and are coming back into the marketplace.”
As revealed in last Thursday’s Oxford Mail, Oxfordshire house prices are being driven by London commuters looking for better value outside the city but still within commuting distance.
Agents claimed up to 25 per cent of sales were going to buyers based in the capital.
Robin Swailes, director of North Oxford Property Services in Jericho, said: “London is surging ahead and there is a ripple effect with cities such as Oxford looking to catch up.
“People are leaving London and commuting more, but they are attracted to Oxford for the schools and quality of life.”
The next least affordable city after Oxford was Winchester with a price/affordability figure of 9.65.
The most affordable city is Stirling in Scotland at 3.3.
IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT
The most expensive cities in the UK are: