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House Hunting in … England

One in seven buyers in the area moves from London, with more than one-third of those new buyers still commuting to work in the capital. Some 81 percent of buyers have children, more than any other area in the country. Almost half are upsizing, the report said.

Buyers looking for a country house are drawn to the bucolic 25-mile radius around Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds, said Ronnie van der Ploeg, a director with Savills’ Oxford Office. In the third quarter this year, Savills’ prime regional index indicated that average values in the country house market slipped by 1 percent over the last year, 7.7 percent in the past five years and remain an average 21.5 percent down from the 2007 peak. The Cotswolds country house market is down 7.8 percent from peak.

Those who prefer the cultural bounty of a city rich in history and laden with theaters, restaurants, colleges and museums opt for “the large Victorian and Edwardian homes in north Oxford” both for the size — from 2,500 to 5,000 square feet, the period feel and proximity to schools.

Houses in the prime area range from $1.85 million to $6.2 million (1.5 million to 5 million pounds), Mr. van der Ploeg said. Condominiums are popular because of convenience to railroad stations, and among parents desiring a nest close to children attending school in Oxford. A mix of new houses and apartments are under construction in the city center. Two-bedroom apartments range from $617,000 to $987,000 (500,000 to 800,000 pounds,) he added. There is also a strong rental market.

In the last few years, Mr. Lochrane noted an increase in “dollar and euro buyers” looking to buy because of favorable exchange rates and the commutability of Oxford and the surrounding area to London.” Other Londoners relocate to Oxford for work, its highly regarded universities, state-funded prep and private schools and to get extra space for expanding families.

International buyers include Europeans, Chinese, Russians and South Africans, agents said.


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