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The issue lies with finding available land – which in Oxford is incredibly difficult

Development & Planning with Strutt & Parker

It is a well-known fact that Oxford has one of the highest house price to earnings ratios in the country, but why are house prices in Oxford growing faster than that of any other city in the UK?
"The number of households is set to dramatically increase over the next twenty years"

Quite simply, growing house prices in Oxford is a supply and demand issue – when supply is limited and there is high demand, the consequence is an augmentation of prices

While this ‘phenomenon’ is grabbing headlines, house prices in the UK as a whole have risen faster than any other developed country over the last 35 years – hardly a contemporary issue. But it does boil down to the under delivery of housing stock; short term economic conditions have had a knock on effect upon the industry’s ability to increase supply to meet demands and projected demands.

It would be wrong to say that it is a UK wide problem however, as demand is very much focused in specific areas, as we see in Oxford. To alleviate this problem, homes need to be built where needed and need to be the right type of homes to meet demand. Ultimately developers are only going to build what they think they can sell, so the issue lies with finding available land – which in Oxford is incredibly difficult.

The number of households is set to dramatically increase over the next twenty years, which will only succeed in fanning the fire even more. For the Planning and Development team at Strutt & Parker identifying suitable sites for residential development within Oxford and the surrounding towns and villages is core to our business. Whether it be brownfield or greenfield we are eager to speak to landowners who believe that their land may have development potential.

Oxford and its environs are constrained by the green belt and lack of space within sustainable locations, therefore developing any site requires expert knowledge and approach. Strutt & Parker’s Planning & Development department in Oxford has a team of experienced town planners and chartered surveyors, including valuers, who specialise in the development process from conception to completion.

While the planning process has arguably got a little easier with the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), planning is still no walk in the park. In depth knowledge of the planning system and proven experience of successful application and appeal processes is crucial when considering representation for a potential site. Becoming more prevalent is the need to engage with the community on developments – residents want to be informed and involved in the process that will ultimately have an effect on their lives.

Strutt & Parker’s Planning and Development team have an unrivalled knowledge of the complete process, not just the technical planning aspects but also the commercial acumen to ensure that clients are appropriately represented and obtain consents that are not only appropriate but also viable. Our strong national profile and extensive database of builders ensures that marketed sites get the best possible exposure and therefore achieve the best possible value.

With the Government is firmly behind the drive to build more homes, with a raft of new measures to incentivise developers and ease planning regulations, opportunities for development abound.

We are always interested to speak to landowners who have a potential development site or need any sort of planning or development advice, so please contact one our experts who will be able to provide you with commercially astute advice.


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