Property in Bicester: fast rail links to Oxford and London, £100m Garden Town investment and high rental yields are putting this town on the map

You probably know it for its designer outlet stores, but there’s much more to Bicester than bargain clothes – and its reputation is set to grow.

Earmarked as one of Oxfordshire’s fastest growing economic centres by government and planners, there are grand plans for the growing market town.

“Bicester is Oxfordshire’s best kept secret. There is so much happening in the town that a lot of people outside of the area haven’t caught onto yet,” says Andy Foote, director at SevenCapital.

“Investors and buyers looking to buy into the town now should do well, based on its growth forecasts and the level of investment the area is attracting.” 

Commuting from Bicester

It is ideally positioned for commuters not only to Oxford, 15 minutes away, but also to large swathes of the south of England and the West Midlands.

And the recently upgraded Chiltern Railways line has put Bicester within even easier reach of London with the train journey to Marylebone Station now less than an hour.

“Increasingly, firms are offering staff the opportunity to live outside London because of affordability concerns. Being halfway to everywhere is a good place to live if you’re visiting clients, or have a head office in London, for example,” says Bill Cooper, managing director of Martin & Co in Oxford.

The town is set to get significantly better-connected and bigger over the next few years, thanks to the Garden Town initiative, which will could see £100 million of investment pour in to Bicester for new rail lines, improved road routes and other regeneration projects.

Positioned on the Oxford Growth Corridor between Oxford and Cambridge, Bicester will be served by the EastWest Rail link, reviving the old Varsity line between the two university cities, which is due for completion in 2024.

This makes it ideally placed to benefit from the ‘golden triangle’ of London, Cambridge and Oxford but with significantly lower property prices than those three overheated markets – at least, for now.

House prices in Bicester

The population is expected to increase from 30,000 to 50,000, with residents taking advantage of improved commuter facilities and the growing local economy. As a result, increased demand is likely to push house prices up.

The average house price in London is currently £472,901, while in Oxford it’s £424,250. In Bicester the average house costs £308,000 – 27 per cent lower than Oxford.

And it has the rental yields – between five and six per cent compared to Oxford’s three per cent – to match those lower house prices, according to Cooper, with the prospect of capital growth, which is missing from the more expensive cities nearby.

“As Oxford’s property market slows a bit – having been quite overheated and becoming less and less affordable – we’re starting to see increased interest in Bicester for investors in terms of demand. Bicester has had a strong rental market but it’s going to keep developing over the next five to seven years,” says Cooper.

For investors keen to buy now, Graven Hill Village is a ground-breaking new development which includes flats being sold off-plan through SevenCapital and due to complete in 2020. One-bedroom flats are already sold out but there are larger, more couple-friendly, properties still available in the 69-apartment block.

The open-plan flats will offer panoramic views of the surrounding Oxfordshire countryside, within walking distance of pubs, shops and schools.

Two-bedroom flats in Trinity House at Graven Hill Apartments cost from £239,950. Find out more here.

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