Amanda has worked in estate agency in the Southeast of England for a number of years in both residential and commercial property sales.
Buying Property in Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire is renowned not only for its famous University, but also for its rolling hills, dotted with pretty little villages and towns. Sir Winston Churchill was born in Oxfordshire, at Blenheim Palace, and he is buried in the churchyard at Bladon, near Woodstock. Possibly one of the handsomest counties in England, the leafy lanes and chocolate box villages of Oxfordshire are very popular with tourists and day-trippers. There are no really 'cheap' locations here, but there are one or two towns where the property prices are slightly easier on the pocket. The larger towns have a wider range of housing available, with more modern, terraced properties providing most of the cheaper end houses. Please don't expect, however, to pick up a honey coloured, thatched cottage for a bargain price in any of the Cotswold villages and hamlets. This surfeit of cuteness doesn't come cheap!
Prices quoted were researched on the Rightmove website during January 2020.
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Interested in Property in Other Counties?
Before buying any home, or in any location, it is important to do your own research, and this article can only hope to provide a rough guide. Do bear in mind that adjacent counties may well offer cheaper housing, and if you are flexible about location you might want to read some of the other articles in this series. Other counties currently covered include; Berkshire, Cornwall, Devon, Derbyshire, South Yorkshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Essex, and Hampshire.
Typical Prices for Basic 3 Bedroom Houses in Oxfordshire January 2020
|Up to £200,000||From £200,001 to £300,000||£300,001 plus|
£280,000 should be sufficient to secure a basic terraced three bedroom house in Abingdon. This lovely old town lies alongside the River Thames, and is handily close to the Kennet and Avon Canal, about five and a half miles from Oxford. Once the county town of Berkshire, Abingdon swapped counties as the result of a boundary change in 1974. Blessed with the ruins of both a castle and an ancient abbey, the town has more than its fair share of historic edifices, including a splendidly ornate 17th century County Hall.
Modern day Abingdon has a good selection of both state and independant schools, as well as a further education college. Sadly, it no longer has a railway station, and commuters must take the train from neighbouring Radley, two miles away. There is, however, an airfield, and Abingdon hosts an annual airshow.
Perhaps best known for its market cross which features in a popular children's nursery rhyme, Banbury is one of the county's cheaper locations. Banbury has a different character from its posher, prettier neighbours, but it is nonetheless an attractive and historic town in its own right. Located two miles off the M40 at junction 11, and on a direct railway line to London Marylebone (a littlle over an hour away) Banbury has excellent transport links, and is popular with commuters into both London and Birmingham. There are good local employment opportunities, most notably at the Kenco coffee plant.
With educational facilities through to University level close at hand, and Horton Hospital providing the town with a wide range of services, including Accident and Emergency, Banbury is an ideal place to raise a family, so it's good to know that basic 3 bedroom homes start at around £200,000 with the occasional bargain coming in a little below that.
Around £250,000 should secure you a simple three bedroom property in the town of Bicester.
Bicester Village, a swanky outlet mall situated just outside the main town, includes some big name designers, and has added greatly to the town's overall appeal. This boutique shopping centre lies just east of the M40, junction 9.
The slightly more down to earth, town centre of Bicester itself is an attractive mix of old and new buildings with most everyday needs well-catered for. Bicester is one of the fastest growing locations in Oxfordshire, and it is blessed with excellent road and rail links. A commute of a little less than an hour will whisk you by rail from here to London Marylebone. Whilst updating this article in January 2020 I noted that property prices appear to be slipping in this part of Oxfordshire, with many homes lingering on the market, and suffering consequent price reductions.
The soaring 198 ft tower of St Mary's Church is probably the first glimpse you'll get of Bloxham. Reputedly one of the UK's tallest church towers, it provides a landmark that is visible for miles around. The village has several other attractive historic buildings as well as its own little museum, a good selection of basic shops, a GP surgery and dental practice, and schools through to age 16. Simple three bedroom homes can be acquired from around £270,000
Definitely not your average first-time buyer territory. Unless you're lucky enough to chase down a rarely available cheaper-end modern-style property, you should expect to pay upwards of £550,000 for even the most basic home in this chocolate box location. Lying twenty miles west of Oxford, Burford is a classic example of a Cotswold village. With a long wide High Street sloping down to a bridge over the River Windrush, the road is flanked by a glorious procession of picturesque dwellings, some with wonky mullioned windows, some half timbered, ohers bow-fronted. A popular tourist location, the village has plenty of places to stay in, or eat in, but not too many practical everyday shops. Certainly don't choose to relocate to Burford if you can't cope with crowds!
It's easy to see why a three bedroom house is likely to set you back upwards of £400,000 in pretty little Charlbury. For a start it actually has a railway station. In a county where so many stations were axed in the 1950s and 1960s, Charlbury has retained this important transport link. A direct train to London Paddington takes around an hour and forty minutes from here, and into Oxford, just 20 minutes. This is important for commuters of course, but also for school children wishing to take the train to one of the nearest secondary schools, as Charlbury only caters for primary school children at present. The local shops are basic, but cover most everyday needs. There is a range of restaurants and hostellries in the town. Charlbury is popular with weekenders and has a good camping and caravan site nearby, as well as a youth hostel housed in a converted glove factory. One of the biggest attractions for holidaymakers staying at Charlbury, is its close proximity to the attractions at Blenheim Palace, a lovely stately home with beautiful gardens, and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.
Weekends and bank holidays are the best times to visit Chinnor railway station, which has been the terminus of the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway heritage railway line since 1994. Steam and diesel trains run from here along part of the old Watlington and Princes Risborough Railway line, and they are popular with vistors. However, the old rail links that would once have made Chinnor useful for commuters have long gone, courtesy of the railway reorganizations of the 1950s and 1960s.
Aside from being a hotspot for fans of steam trains, there are probably not too many reasons to visit Chinnor, although it is a pleasant enough place to relocate to. Essentially a dormitory village for nearby Thame, the village has a primary school, a local library, and it fields a non-league football club in the Hellenic Football League. Three bedroom homes here can be bought from upwards of £320,000.
Chipping Norton is a bustling little market town, eight miles east of Stow-on-the Wold. The wool trade accounted for much of the town's prosperity in by-gone centuries, and many of the sturdy stone buildings that front onto Market Square, stand as testament to the success of generations of wool merchants. The modern-day town continues to prosper; it has good shopping and leisure facilities, with schools through to sixth form, a museum, a theatre, and a long established golf club.
The nearest railway stations are at Kingham and Ascott-under-Wychwood. Budget for a minimum spend of £250,000 to secure a basic family home in Chipping Norton, but keep your eyes peeled for the rare bargain which occasionally pops up. January 2020 listings include a substantial number of reductions on properties that have been lingering on the market. Maybe a sign that property prices are plateauing in Chipping Norton.
Budget at least £475,000 to buy a three bedroom house in picturesque Cropredy. Prices vary widely here due to the highly individual nature of the available houses.
Five miles north of Banbury, this idyllic spot was the scene of a major Civil War battle in 1644, and details of a Battlefield Walk can be downloaded from the internet. There used to be a railway station here, but sadly that was lost to the cuts in 1956, however, the village still has the Oxford Canal passing by, just as it has for the last 300 years. Cropredy is also the scene of an annual music festival, the Fairport's Cropredy Convention. Cropredy is a small place, and there are times when available property may be very thin on the ground.
Didcot is a town 9 miles (14 km) south of Oxford. Perhaps best known these days for its railway museum and power stations, Didcot was a place of major logistical importance during both the first and second World Wars, due to its position on a junction of what were then, two major railway lines The armed forces still retain a presence in the town.
As part of the Science Vale Enterprise Zone, Didcot is a near neighbour to several major science and technology campuses including the Culham Science Centre, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus and Milton Park, and these provide good local employment opportunities. The town has six primary schools, and three secondary schools, as well as excellent sports and leisure facilities. Three bedroom houses may be bought in Didcot from approximately £250,000.
The mellow stone blocks that form the walls of many houses in the pleasant village of Eynsham, once graced an ancient abbey. The structure was thoroughly demolished following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538, and there are sadly, no picturesque ruins to admire. However, in recent times, enterprising villagers have tracked down pieces of old masonry from the abbey and used them to form part of the information points on a heritage trail around Eynsham.
This little village does itself proud with a surprising selection of useful and eclectic shops, schools through to sixth form, and a good local medical centre. Allow an absolute minimum of £280,000 if you are looking for a three bedroom home here, but be prepared to pay considerably more..
Deliciously desirable Henley-on-Thames will never be typical first-time buyer territory. If you have a minimum budget of £395,000 you might find a smallish three bedroom property to get a foothold in this attractive location, but lower value houses are few and far between here in this favoured corner of Oxfordshire.
Henley-on-Thames is on a branch line from Twyford, and there are direct trains into London Paddington during peak hours (approximately 45 minutes journey time). Junctions with both the M4 and M40 motorways are about 12 miles away. The town is well known for its annual regatta which is held on the River Thames that flows through the town. There is a good selection of both public and independent schools, and excellent sports and leisure facilities in the town.
Hook Norton is firmly in the highest bracket price-wise, though still cheaper than many of its neighbours. £300,000 might just give you a chance of buying in this pretty village, but realistically, budget for at least £25,000 more than that. Noted these days for its popular brewery, the village has a long history dating back to the Viking invasion and beyond. Modern day Hook Norton has a range of basic local facilities including a primary school, a GP practice, and a general store. The railway used to pass this way, but the line was closed in the 1960s, and commuters must travel to nearby Banbury to catch a train.
An excellent location for commuters, Islip has a mainline railway station where you can catch a train which will whisk you into London Paddington in around one hour and ten minutes. A commute into Oxford Parkway will take approximated 6 minutes. The village is only 5 miles north of Oxford, and is handily placed to benefit from the excellent facilities of a large city, without having to live with the hustle and bustle. The village has a small primary school, a village shop, and two pubs. Cheaper end, three bedroom properties seldom come up for sale here, but prepare yourself to pay at least £400,000 should one become available. In January 2020 there were only two family sized houses in Islip listed on Rightmove, and the cheapest was £450,000.
Kidlington is a large village lying between the River Cherwell and the Oxford Canal, approximately 5 miles north of Oxford. The village holds a weekly market, and there is a busy shopping centre with a good range of shops, banks, restaurants, cafes and hostellries. There are schools through to sixth form level, a library, and a modern sports pavilion. The nearest train station is a few miles away at Oxford Parkway. Three bedroom houses in Kidlington start at a little under £300,000 for a basic terraced home.
The world famous University of Oxford is the oldest University in the English-speaking world, and the Colleges and University buildings dominate the town. The poet Matthew Arnold once described Oxford as the "city of dreaming spires", and the name has stuck. The city centre has a very genteel air about it, and the ancient, winding streets are lined with fine old houses with character by the truckload. These architectural gems are, of course, rather pricier than the more modern properties built further out. £280,000 should be enough to secure to a 3 bedroom house in one of the estates outside the city centre, or possibly a small, Victorian, terrace house, more centrally located..
Oxford has plentiful shops, schools, hospitals, and sports and leisure facilities, and is a great location to settle down in. A direct line train commute from Oxford into London Paddington takes approximately one hour.
Thame is a market town about 9 miles east of Oxford, and 3 miles away from junction 7 of the M40. In 1987 British Rail opened Haddenham and Thame Parkway station at Haddenham, about 2 miles northeast of Thame, and this provides passenger services to London Marylebone, Banbury and Birmingham Snow Hill, as well as other destinations.
The town is an intriguing mishmash of old and new properties, with many interesting and historic properties in and around the town centre. With good local facilities together with excellent transport links to Oxford and other larger towns close at hand, Thame is an attractive location for potential property buyers. Three bedroom homes in Thame start at around £315,000, but climb very steeply upwards. A more realistic budget might be £350,000 plus.
Modern, three bedroom homes, both terraced and semis, can be bought from approximately £245,000 in Wantage. The old town of Wantage has many quaint, historic buildings at its heart, although it has expanded considerably in the last 50 or so years, and much of the housing stock is far more contemporary. Lying approximately 14 miles southwest of Oxford, Wantage was originally a Berkshire town, but moved into Oxfordshire during boundary changes. Wantage won the award for Britain's Best Town Centre in 2014, and has a choice of local schools, as well as good local shops and leisure facilities.
There is no railway station in Wantage, however Didcot Parkway is only 8 miles away and provides services to London, Bristol and Cardiff.
The limestone blocks from which Windsor Castle was built, were quarried at Wheatley. A settlement since Roman times, Wheatley is today a large village with both a primary and secondary school. There is no longer a railway station at Wheatley, but it is only a few miles from Junction 8 of the M40, so road links into Oxford and London are good. There is a limited range of everyday shops in the village centre, but most everyday needs are catered for. If you are searching for a three bedroom house here, allow a minimum of £375,000, but be prepared to pay quite a lot more.
Renowned for its production of high quality woollen blankets since the Middle Ages, the market town of Witney stands beside the River Windrush, 12 miles west of Oxford. The Blanket Hall in High Street was built in 1721 for weighing and measuring blankets. At one time there were as many as five different blanket factories in the town, but sadly the last of these, Early's, closed in 2002,
Witney's educational facilities include a Further Education College, and there is a choice of primary and secondary schools. There is no railway station in the town, so commuters must travel by road. Three bedroom properties can be bought in Witney from about £260,000.
Situated just outside the Blenheim Palace Estate, Woodstock oozes charm and old-fashioned quaintness. Extremely popular with day-trippers and holiday makers, Woodstock has more antique and bric-a-brac shops than you can shake a stick at. That said, it also has a fair sprinkling of more useful retailers, alongside an impressive selection of hotels, restaurants, cafes and tearooms. The town has local schools through to secondary level, and a choice of two railway stations, Hanborough, and Combe, within two miles of the town centre. Certainly not the cheapest location in Oxfordshire, prospective buyers should allow an absolute minimum of £340,000 when looking for a 3 bedroom house in Woodstock, but should expect to pay considerably more.
Footloose in The Cotswolds
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.