Cambridge trumps Oxford and tops the property league table for average price growth in university markets
With the start of a new university year looming, the city of Cambridge has topped the price growth tables for university property markets, according to new research for upmarket national estate agents Jackson-Stops & Staff, with 44 offices nationwide. As well as trumping Oxford in the university league tables, Cambridge has shown double the average price growth of its historic rival, with average prices increasing by 20 per cent in the last 12 months, 10 per cent more than Oxford and 14.3 per cent more than the national average. Canterbury, York and Northampton also performed strongly showing price growth of 16 percent, 11 per cent and ten per cent respectively with a total of 28 towns and cities recording growth in excess of the national average. Other top performing cities include Reading, Bristol, Brighton, Luton, Oxford, Sheffield and Exeter, with average growth for the top ten markets at 15 per cent. Whilst Cambridge outperformed Oxford in terms of average price growth, this was driven largely by detached property values with prices rising 36 per cent from 665,650 to 903,038. Larger properties are attractive to buy-to-let investors, with a guaranteed pipeline of student tenants. However, when assessing other property types, Oxford shows considerably higher growth rates, particularly for flats where it tops the price growth tables with 36 per cent. Jackson-Stops & Staff has more than a century of experience in the prime property market throughout the UK with offices in university cities across the country, including Exeter, London, Chester, Canterbury, Northampton, York and Norwich. Whilst the majority of the top performing towns are in the south of the country, York bucks the trend by recording double digit price growth, sitting above Oxford, Exeter, London and many core areas within the Home Counties. York showed particularly high levels of growth for large, five plus bedroom homes, recording a 29 per cent increase in the last 12 months for this type of property along with Exeter at 27 per cent, Bath at 22 per cent, Bangor at 20 per cent, Chester at 15 percent and Oxford at 14 per cent. Similarly, Canterbury topped the price growth tables for four bedroom homes at 24 per cent with Bangor and Cambridge close behind showing 22 per cent and 19 per cent growth respectively. London remains the most expensive location to buy all types and size of property and so larger homes outside of London and the Home Counties represent strong investment opportunities, with buyers able to cash in on the student rental market within these university towns. Whilst price stagnation and deflation is concentrated in the North of England and Wales, with the average fall for the bottom ten performing markets at -4 per cent, York and Sheffield are two of the top ten performing towns and cities, with Manchester and Scottish university cities also performing strongly. With steady levels of growth in place in some of these larger urban hubs, the north of England and Wales will hopefully see a ripple effect into some of the smaller university centres. Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops & Staff, comments: Britain is renowned for having some of the best universities in the world, rich in heritage and history, and offering some of the most sought after property stock in the country. It is no coincidence that high levels of price growth correlate with some of the UKs best universities where there is a strong demand for rental properties for students and this seems to be having beneficial effects on northern cities, such as York, Sheffield and Manchester, which have typically seen slower levels of growth and a more fragile state of recovery following the recession.  The data was sourced from July 2015 by Insight Advantage for Jackson-Stops & Staff and is based on average asking prices.