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Oxford increasingly attracting rich overseas property buyers

Knight Frank’s Oxford office has reported that they have sold to 13 nationalities in the last 12 months with new buyers coming from Asia and Russia.

Drawn to the city due to its reputation as a cultural hub, thriving technology sector, the outstanding education on offer and the lure of the University colleges, international buyers bought 40% of Knight Frank’s prime stock in the city of Oxford in 2011.

‘London is not the only city to see a dramatic influx of foreign buyers. The UK is still internationally perceived to be a safe economy and, combined with a weak Sterling, this has led to a significant increase in foreign buyers in Oxford over the last year,’ said Damian Gray, partner at Knight Frank and head of the Oxford office.

‘Providing an interpreter is now part of our weekly business, with overseas buyers becoming extremely focused.  If they see something they like and it adds up, they make very fast decisions and look to close a deal quickly with little borrowings,’ he added.

Having historically weathered economic storms very well, Oxford has always been a popular choice for both domestic and overseas buyers. However, in the last two years, Knight Frank’s Oxford office has seen sales to international applicants rise by 50%, with the strongest demand for houses valued at over £2.5 million and a marked increase in buyers from Asia and Russia.
‘We have recently sold three properties to buyers from Asia. In one instance, the buyer was only in the country for a limited period of time so we took them on a tour and by the end of the day they had bought. As well as the being attracted by the excellent schooling and arguably the most famous University, other factors that appeal to Asian buyers include the growth of innovative technology companies and the large number of teaching hospitals. Shopping also comes into the equation, as we are also often asked how far Bicester Village Retail Park is,’ explained Gray.

‘Oxford has often been described by overseas buyers as London without the edges. We cannot see this perception changing and it will be extremely interesting to see what will potentially be a far more diverse city population in five to 10 years’ time,’ he added.